Sunday, July 26, 2015

From Ian:

Thomas Sowell: Is the Iran Deal the Worst Political Blunder of All Time?
Distinguished scientist Freeman Dyson has called the 1433 decision of the emperor of China to discontinue his country’s exploration of the outside world the “worst political blunder in the history of civilization.”
The United States seems at this moment about to break the record for the worst political blunder of all time, with its Obama-administration deal that will make a nuclear Iran virtually inevitable.
Already the years-long negotiations, with their numerous “deadlines” that have been extended again and again, have reduced the chances that Israel can destroy the Iranian nuclear facilities, which have been multiplied and placed in scattered underground sites during the years when all this was going on.
Israel is the only country even likely to try to destroy those facilities, since Iran has explicitly and repeatedly declared its intention to wipe Israel off the face of the earth.
How did we get to this point — and what, if anything, can we do now? Tragically, these are questions that few Americans seem to be asking. We are too preoccupied with our electronic devices, the antics of celebrities, and politics as usual.
During the years when we confronted a nuclear-armed Soviet Union, we at least realized that we had to “think the unthinkable,” as intellectual giant Herman Kahn put it. Today it seems almost as if we don’t want to think about it at all.
Iranian Nuclear Deal Is a Win for Anti-Semitism
It would be a better world if anti-Semitic regimes put aside their hatreds to pursue their vital interests, but history militates against that illusion. You don’t need to invoke the famous and egregious example of Nazis diverting precious resources, trucks, and other war materials, in order to keep transporting Jews to the concentration camps. You don’t have to recall how some Nazis busily executed Jews even as they ran from the conquering allied troops. You can invoke Vichy, France, turning over the Jews who were its best and brightest, or the Soviet Union, which lost so much cultural and business acumen and capital through years of suppression. Anti-Semites cannot help themselves. To them, the injury is worthwhile if they can savage the Jews.
So without exploring the specifics of the deal, which are troubling, there is a ground-level assumption that Iran’s leaders share our fundamental interests in “having some semblance of legitimacy.” Granting that Iran is a sophisticated country, it’s also true that hatred of Israel and particularly, hatred of Jews, has proved a remarkably durable governing strategy in the modern world. How far will Iranians go, once some money is in hand, to pursue their destructive agenda? The belief that rational self-interest is a governing principle is a belief common to rational people.
In a world where countries are run by anti-Semites, being anti-Semitic is not necessarily more dangerous than misunderstanding anti-Semitism. We have just concluded a deal with people infected with the oldest and most virulent pathology of hatred the world has known. This is no time for celebration.
Jackie Mason: NYC restaurants subject to tougher inspections than Iran under nuclear deal
Legendary Jewish comic Jackie Mason joined the list of critics of the nuclear deal signed between world powers and Iran Sunday, jesting that New York restaurants face a harsher inspections regime than Iran's nuclear facilities will under the terms of the agreement.
Speaking during an interview to air Sunday night on "Aaron Klein Investigative Radio" on New York's AM 970 The Answer and Philadelphia's NewsTalk 990 AM, Mason, an outspoken advocate of Israel, quipped that US Secretary of State John Kerry should pay the American people back for the cost of his airfare to and from the Iran talks.
"This secretary of state, Kerry, negotiated with them for a year-and-a-half and accomplished nothing. He ought to give us back for all the trips he made. He cost us millions of dollars in airplane fares and he came back with nothing except a bad foot."
Mason's comments did not mark the first time he has spoken out on an issue that touched on Israel's security. He emerged during last summer’s Operation Protective Edge as one of Israel’s most outspoken defenders. The long-time Republican has also been highly critical of US President Barack Obama, whom he assailed Sunday for his handling of the Iranian nuclear threat.
"The real agreement he made, I’m sure he (Obama) said to them, 'Listen, could you keep the bomb quiet for a year and a half. Because if you don’t bomb us for a year and a half, I’ll be the big winner. Everyone will see I made a fantastic agreement. If you bomb us after I leave I could always say it’s the other guy’s fault. Because if it’s not for him, this never would have happened," Mason said.



Two Debates on Iran
Still, one can understand Congress’ fury. When Senator Bob Corker grumbles that the administration has “turned Iran from being a pariah, to now Congress being a pariah,” he is right. The president has responded to Congress’ demand for a choice by constructing a choice that isn’t really a choice at all. He has its members over a barrel; either approve a deal they don’t like, or reject it at great national cost. This is brinkmanship, but relations between the Executive and Legislative have often been marked by brinkmanship. The President is acting well within his prerogatives, even if his advisers are being irredeemably smug about it.
But there is a second question, less concrete but no less critical. This deeper question is not whether a better alternative now lies before us, but whether we could and should have done better. Whether this deal is appropriate and acceptable on its own terms and in its own time. It is in reply to this question that the White House’s repeated warnings of war are a misdirection. Worse, they are an evasion of democratic accountability.
In a representative democracy, we understand that choices will be made on our behalf, that decisions must be delegated, and that they must often be made in a manner and time-frame that do not allow the public to weigh in. So while we elect our leaders for their judgment, we also hold them accountable through a process of robust public debate, criticism and if necessary, condemnation. Engaging in that debate is a democratic responsibility, even when these debates may lack an easily discernible, direct effect.
And often, there are effects. Our leaders act constrained by the knowledge that they will be judged--at the voting booth and in the court of public opinion. And even when decision-maker (as is true of both Obama and Kerry) may have no elections left, condemnation still carries deterrent power. No one enjoys ignominy.
Congress Must Hold Obama Accountable for His Deception Over Iran
By lying and withholding information about the agreement, he gives aid and comfort to America’s enemy.
The president “must certainly be punishable for giving false information to the Senate.”
One can imagine hearing such counsel from a contemporary United States senator on the receiving end of President Obama’s “full disclosure” of the nuclear deal with Iran. But the admonition actually came from James Iredell, a champion of the Constitution’s ratification, who was later appointed to the Supreme Court by President George Washington.
Iredell was addressing the obligations the new Constitution imposed on the president in the arena of international affairs. Notwithstanding the chief executive’s broad powers to “regulate all intercourse with foreign powers,” it would be the president’s “duty to impart to the Senate every material intelligence he receives.” Indeed, among the most egregious offenses a president could commit would be fraudulently inducing senators “to enter into measures injurious to their country, and which they would not have consented to had the true state of things been disclosed to them.”
A little over a year ago, I recounted Iredell’s cautionary words in Faithless Execution. They echo an instructive illustration offered by James Madison, the Constitution’s principal author: If the president were “to commit any thing so atrocious” as to fraudulently rig Senate approval of an international agreement, he would “be impeached and convicted.”
'Half the House Democrats' Might Vote against Iran Deal
House Democrats are President Barack Obama's “last line of defense” against congressional opponents of the nuclear deal with Iran, according to The Hill. The website, which specializes in covering Congress, said Saturday that “some lawmakers are speculating that as much as half the House Democratic Caucus might be willing to buck the White House” and vote against the deal.
“If [Republicans] bring before us a resolution that says ‘We hereby approve the deal,’ I think that as many as half the Democrats would vote against it,” Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.), a critic of the Iran deal, was quoted as saying.
While House Republicans are unified in opposing the deal, many key Democrats are wavering, and the White House is mounting a full-court press to get them on board, according to the report.
MEMRI: Critical Points To Consider In Understanding The Iranian Nuclear Deal
Introduction
The following analysis is the first in a series which will discuss the Iranian nuclear deal and will examine the JCPOA from the American perspective. It will focus on the components of the JCPOA as a legal document. It will also draw on United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 2231 which endorsed the JCPOA for reference. It will not discuss possible future implications, nor does it mean to be an overall assessment of the deal.
It should be emphasized that, contrary to how it is perceived, the JCPOA is not a bilateral or multilateral contract between the United States and/or Europe and Iran. Nothing has been signed and nothing is judicially binding between any of the parties. It is a set of understandings that was sent to a third party, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), for endorsement. This structure is a result of Iran's insistence to not sign any bilateral or multilateral contract.
JCPOA Provisions Prevent Future Inspection Of Military Sites
The provisions of the agreement can be interpreted to prevent the inspection of military sites rather than enable inspection.
Deal Lets Iran Back Out if Nuclear Violation Found and Snapback Sanctions Imposed
A clause in the nuclear deal suggests that Iran may unilaterally withdraw from the agreement and pursue its military nuclear program if the West attempts to impose sanctions due to violations of the deal, nonproliferation expert Emily Landau of Israel’s Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) wrote today in an op-ed she co-authored in Ha’aretz.
Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)
Landau, who co-wrote the op-ed with Owen Alterman, a research fellow at INSS, referenced the clause in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (.pdf), the official name of the deal, that says, ” if sanctions are reinstated in whole or in part, Iran will treat that as grounds to cease performing its commitments under this JCPOA in whole or in part.” The experts cited Mark Dubowitz, executive director of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, who called the clause “Iran’s nuclear snapback,” and explained how it could work.
Israeli minister rejects Kerry’s ‘intimidation’ on Iran deal
Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz, the government’s unofficial point man on Iran, on Sunday dismissed a recent warning by US Secretary of State John Kerry indicating that Israel could bear the blame if Congress votes down the nuclear deal with Iran.
“Israel will make its views clear on the Iranian nuclear issue, which is relevant to its security and its existence, and no one has the authority to intimidate us [on the matter],” Steinitz said according to the Walla news site.
He said the arguments against the agreement were objectively sound and not exclusive to Israel. “Criticism of the agreement in the United States in general and Congress in particular is due to the serious flaws and loopholes displayed in the deal,” he said.
As part of the Obama administration’s current campaign to push the Iranian deal signed July 14 in Vienna, Kerry told an audience at the Council of Foreign Relations in New York on Friday that should Congress vote against the agreement, “our friends in Israel could actually wind up being more isolated, and more blamed.”
The statement was promptly rejected by the former Israeli ambassador to the United States, Michael Oren, now a member of the centrist Kulanu party.
“If American legislators reject the nuclear deal, they will do so exclusively on the basis of US interests. The threat of the secretary of state who, in the past, warned that Israel was in danger of becoming an apartheid state, cannot deter us from fulfilling our national duty to oppose this dangerous deal,” Oren said in a statement.
Kerry has ‘intense exchange’ with Jewish leaders over Iran deal
A day after GOP senators blasted him for getting “fleeced” by Iran, Kerry faced another tough crowd in a closed-door meeting with about 120 Jewish leaders at the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.
“It was very intense exchange, serious exchange,” the group’s vice chairman, Malcolm Hoenlein, told The Post.
Kerry spoke from a podium and fielded pointed questions from a crowd of Israel supporters concerned that the deal could allow Iran to get relief from sanctions while still maintaining some nuclear infrastructure that could threaten Israel.
“There was no acrimony, but there was intensity,” at the event, held at the Stern College for Women in midtown, said Hoenlein
He said members asked Kerry about “snapback provisions” if Iran cheats, a 24-day waiting period for nuclear inspections, and the window of when Iran gets to re-start some nuclear R&D.
One critic was former Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman, Kerry’s former Senate colleague, who “made some impassioned comments,” according to Hoenlein.
In J Street's augmented reality, Israel supports Iran deal
When U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry appeared before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Thursday, he cited these same former Israeli officials to make the case for the deal. When he was accused of being naive he showed the panel an article he had printed, saying, "This is an article from The Washington Post, I urge you all to read it, it's called 'How the Iran deal is good for Israel, according to Israelis who know what they are talking about.'"
He then began to quote from it: "It says here a host of prominent members of the country's security establishment ... support the Obama administration's efforts. In an interview with the Daily Beast, Ami Ayalon ... suggested Israel's politicians were playing with fears in a fearful society he praised the Vienna agreement as a useful measure to curb the Iranian threat. I don't think he is naive. Efraim Halevy ... hailed Obama's victory."
On Friday, Halevy told Channel 2 that he was very surprised that Kerry mentioned him during the hearing. "The agreement has several provisions that are very good for Israel, but it also has provisions that are not so good," he said. Halevy said the Iranians will likely try to deceive the West, and that the only question is "where and when." He added that it would take three or four years before we can render a verdict on the agreement noting that the inspections and monitoring it stipulated "have flaws." He added that the agreement essentially "paves the way for Iran's nuclearlization in 10 to 15 years."
Does Iran need the bomb?
Does Iran need nuclear bombs? Fuggedaboudit! Though acknowledged as the largest instigator and banker of global terrorism, the Islamic Republic of Iran is being welcomed back into the community of nations on an equal footing, allowed to continue enriching uranium, to improve its nuclear technology, to have nuclear weapons in 10-15 years, to develop its weapons delivery systems, to purchase advanced weapons systems, to continue to fund and perpetrate terror operations, and to boot, Iran will receive help from the West to prevent any military or cyber interdiction of its actions! Even without the bomb, Iran has become the dominant Muslim power in the region and the country most likely to reestablish a Caliphate uniting the Muslim world against all other religions.
Thank you, Obama administration. From a starting point committed to rolling back Iran’s nuclear program, the US has led the charge to legitimate Iran’s horrendous behavior, speeding past all red lines that were promised to keep Iran in check. While this deal has been compared to the one that North Korea blithely ignored on its way to becoming a rogue nuclear power, the Iran agreement is much worse, because Iran will not be treated as a pariah state, but as a valued trading partner. (Some US sanctions which preceded the P5+1 negotiations will be retained for American companies.)
For President Obama, the agreement (not to be confused with a treaty that would require Congressional approval) totally eviscerates his ethos of nuclear non-proliferation. Even if Iran never obtains a nuclear weapon, its Arab neighbors will. They know that they can’t trust America or the West to protect them, so they will develop their own nuclear weapons with the help of Russia, China, Pakistan, North Korea or any other compliant power. Thank you, Mr. President.
Rouhani: Kerry’s ‘all options’ are on a broken table
Rouhani’s statement, published by the semi-official Fars news agency, came after Kerry said Thursday that the military option remains on the table vis-a-vis Iran, in case it does not adhere to the agreement on its nuclear program reached with world powers earlier this month.
“The US should know that it has no other option but respecting Iran and showing modesty towards the country and saying the right thing,” Rouhani told a crowd in the western Iranian city of Sanandij on Sunday.
Kerry said in a Washington Post op-ed jointly written with Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz published Thursday that the nuclear deal “extends the time Iran would need to develop a nuclear weapon, provides strong verification measures that give us ample time to respond if Iran chooses that path, and takes none of our options off the table.”
“The table they are talking about has broken legs,” Rouhani retorted Sunday.
“Today we enjoy the victory of all Iranians after 12 years insisting on reason and dialogue despite the threats and pressure imposed by world powers,” he continued, according to the Mehr News Agency. “Who could believe seeing a day in which those insisting on dismantling Iran’s nuclear cycle surrender to Iranians’ will to have the peaceful nuclear program.”
Khamenei continues anti-US propaganda, publishes picture of Obama with gun to head
In his latest rhetorical dismissal of Washington, Iran's Supreme Leader tweeted a warning against any military action against Iran by what he called the "aggressive and criminal US."
Appearing on Ayatollah Khamenei's official Twitter account, the social media post features a quote from the Islamic Republic's premier cleric reading "we welcome no war, nor do we initiate any war, but if any war happens the who will emerge loser will be the aggressive and criminal US."
Below the threat, a silhouette resembling US President Barack Obama can be seen holding a gun against his own head, as if to suggest that any sort of strike against Tehran would be a suicidal move for the American leader.
Iran vows to bar international inspectors from military sites
A top adviser to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei vowed Saturday that the Islamic Republic would deny International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors any access to the country’s military sites, contradicting remarks by US officials following the signing of a nuclear agreement with Tehran last week.
“The access of inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency or from any other body to Iran’s military centers is forbidden,” Ali Akbar Velayati, Khamenei’s adviser for international affairs, said in an interview with Al-Jazeera satellite TV. Velayati further stressed that the directive will be enforced regardless of interpretations by the P5+1 world powers to the contrary.
Iran and world powers agreed last week in Vienna to a deal that limits Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for an end to crippling economic sanctions.
Nasrallah: Iran will not abandon support after nuclear deal
In his first public remarks since the agreement was reached this month in Vienna, Nasrallah said he was sure Tehran would confound critics who have speculated it would end its support for the Lebanese Shiite terrorist organization.
"We deal with every trust and complete assurance over this," Nasrallah said, adding, "Iran's relationship with its allies is based on ideological grounds and comes before political interests."
U.S. sanctions against three senior Hezbollah military leaders, whom Washington accuses of involvement in operations in Syria, would have no impact on the group, Nasrallah said.
"We have no investment accounts. ... These measures will not change things either way," Nasrallah said.
The three -- Mustafa Badr Al Din, Ibrahim Aqil and Fuad Shukr -- were named for their role in coordinating or participating in the group's support for Syrian President Bashar Assad's government in Syria's civil war, the U.S. Treasury said.
It also included a businessman in Lebanon who was sanctioned for procuring weapons for Hezbollah and shipping them to Syria.
Hizbullah Sec.-Gen. Nasrallah: The U.S. Will Remain the Great Satan after Nuclear Deal


Meet 7 Dangerous Iranians Who Will No Longer Be Sanctioned
Iran has a long history of supporting violence and terrorism within the Middle East, as well as around the world.
The following list is a small sample of some of the most dangerous Iranians who will no longer be sanctioned through the implementation of the Iran deal (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action).
1. Qasem Soleimani
Qasem Soleimani is a high-ranking general in the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (a branch of the Iranian armed forces).
Soleimani is responsible for Iran’s terror operations abroad. He was sanctioned by the U.S. in 2011 for heading up an attempted terrorist plot to assassinate the Saudi Ambassador to the U.S. while he was visiting America.
In 2004, he and those under his command flooded Iraq with lethal copper-tipped improvised explosive devices. These high-powered devices took the lives of over 500 American soldiers and Marines.
Don’t Believe Freeing Pollard Will Make Israel Forget Iranian Nukes
To attempt to appease Israel on the Iran nuclear deal, the Obama Administration leaked the news Friday that America plans to release long imprisoned spy for Israel Jonathan Pollard in November 2015 when he is up for parole after 30 years, or, they claim earlier if legally possible.
Freeing Jonathan Pollard - the only person in US history to receive a life sentence for spying for an ally, and the only American citizen convicted of such a crime to be sentenced to more than 10 years in prison – will not make Israelis forget that Obama just gave their sworn enemy the means to exterminate them.
While the Jonathan Pollard case will be front-page, it is important to note that Pollard is an American who was convicted of passing classified information to Israel while working as a civilian intelligence analyst. Pollard passed along information on common US & Israel enemies - Arab states, Pakistan and the Soviet Union. He discovered that information vital to Israel's security was being deliberately withheld by America, despite the fact that Israel was legally entitled to this information according to Memorandum agreements.
Pollard entered into a plea agreement and was never indicted for harming the United States, never indicted for compromising codes, agents, or war plans, nor treason. He was indicted solely on the charge of passing classified information to an ally, without intent to harm the United States.
Michael Oren: No link between Pollard's reported early release and Iran nuclear deal
Former Israeli ambassador to the US and current Kulanu MK Michael Oren said that would be happy if a Wall Street Journal report published Friday was true that Washington was considering to free Pollard from prison before his 30-year sentence is up.
US officials denied the Wall Street Journal report following its publication.
"During my role as an Israeli ambassador, who visited Pollard in prison and worked relentlessly for his release, I understand the extent of which his release from continued detainment is an act of compassion that touches the hearts of all Israelis," Oren said in a statement Saturday.
Oren added that if reports were true, Pollard's release would not in any way stand as compensation to Israel for the recent nuclear deal between world powers and Iran.
"Certainly there is no connection between Pollard's release, which is a matter of mercy and justice, and the bad deal with Iran, which is a security and existential matter," he said.
Pleading for his release, Pollard’s ex-wife says no official word yet
His eligibility for parole on November 21, 2015 has been public knowledge for years, she noted, and the question was, and remains, whether there would be intervention to prevent him going free on or around that date.
Pleading for his release, and for the Israeli government to allocate “a large budget” to help him hire top legal representation for his parole hearing, Anne Pollard said her former husband had done everything the prison authorities asked of him, had a history of “good behavior,” and is “very, very ill.”
She was “100 percent” certain he would want to be on a plane to Israel “within hours” if released, she said. Asked if the US government would want to prevent this, and to forbid him from leaving the country if he were paroled, she said she would have thought they would want to put him on the first plane out.
It was heartbreaking, she said, that he had spent his whole life sitting in jail. “I can’t bear it any more,” she said.
Israeli political analysts on both Channel 10 and Channel 2 Saturday night assessed that Pollard would indeed be allowed to go free in November. The goal would be to demonstrate that the Obama administration is “not hostile” to Israel amid the tensions over the nuclear deal with Iran, according to Channel 10.
Exposé: Malachi Rosenfeld's Murderer an American Citizen
The murderer was one of several terrorists arrested in a terror cell busted last week in a mass operation by the ISA and the Palestinian Authority (PA) security forces.
On Friday, Shabbat newsletter Olam Katan revealed several new details about the case, including information pointing to oversights by both Israel and the US in allowing the killer to walk free.
Just four of seven terrorists in the cell were arrested by Israel, Olam Katan revealed - among them the murderer, named as Ma'ad Hamad.
Moreover, it revealed, not only did terror cell leader Ahmad Najar kill before - he was responsible for the deaths of no fewer than six Israelis during the Second Intifada, when he was the head of a terror cell busted in 2003.
Najar, 39, led the Silwad terror cell responsible for a string of shooting and other attacks against Israelis in Samaria (Shomron). In less than a year, Najar orchestrated attacks concentrated in the Binyamin area which killed six Israelis and injured dozens.
1881 document suggests Palestinian ownership of Susya
Contradicting the official stance of the Israeli army and government, an Ottoman land ownership document dating back to 1881 suggests that the territory on which the Palestinian village of Susya is located does in fact belong to the residents of the area, Haaretz reported Sunday.
The report cited an internal review offered by the Civil Administration, Israel’s military governing authority in the West Bank, last week.
Israel’s Supreme Court ruled last month that the Civil Administration had the right to demolish Palestinian homes in Susya because they had been built without authorization. Susya’s residents argue that they had no choice but to build illegally, because the Civil Administration rarely grants permits to Palestinians in the West Bank’s Area C, a zone controlled by the Israel Defense Forces as per the 1993 Oslo Accords.
The Civil Administration’s refusal to grant building permits to the residents of Susya was based, among other issues, on the perceived lack of land ownership documents. However, the 1881 Ottoman-era document was recently deemed to be both authentic and legally valid by a top staff officer in the Civil Administration, Moshe Meiri, who is responsible for the management of land in the West Bank. Meiri stated that the land specified in the document includes the area of the Palestinian village.
Jordan files complaint with UN over Timna airport
Jordan filed a complaint with the United Nations Saturday regarding the construction of an airport at Timna, near the southern Israeli city of Eilat.
Speaking with the Jordanian newspaper Al Riyadh, Jordanian Transport Minister Lina Shbeeb said the United Nation’s International Civil Aviation Organization has begun to investigate the complaint, according to Army Radio.
Jordanian officials have repeatedly raised issue with the Timna airport, which is under construction just 10 kilometers (six miles) from the Red Sea Jordanian resort town of Aqaba and King Hussein airport.
Officials have said the operations at Timna will affect takeoffs and landings at Aqaba’s airport. (h/t billposer)
WATCH: Police release footage of clashes with Palestinian rioters on Temple Mount
Police on Sunday afternoon released footage of security forces earlier in the day attempting to disperse dozens of violent Palestinian rioters on the Temple Mount complex.
In the video, security forces are seen approaching the stone-hurling rioters and later barricading them in al-Aksa Mosque in order to secure the area.
On Sunday morning, the masked Palestinian youths took up arms and set up barricades on the Temple Mount to attack police and Jewish visitors during Tisha Be’Av, Judaism’s annual day of mourning.
The rioting took place as tens of thousands of Jews fasted and made a pilgrimage to the Western Wall amid oppressive heat to mourn the destruction of the First and Second Temples that once sat atop the contested holy site.
According to Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld, officers entered the compound shortly after 7:30 a.m., after receiving intelligence that a large group of masked Palestinian youths barricaded themselves overnight in al-Aksa Mosque to attack Jewish visitors on Sunday morning.
Arabs Attack 9th of Av Procession, Police Injured as Larger Attack Foiled on Temple Mount [Photo]
Just after midnight on Saturday night (Tisha B’Av), Arabs on the Temple Mount, from inside the Al Aqsa Mosque, attacked a large group of Jews who were walking around the Old City in commemoration of Tisha B’Av.
The walk was organized by Nadia Matar, Yehudit Katsover and the Women in Green, and is held every year in remembrance of the destruction of the Jewish People’s two Temples in Jerusalem, which happened on the Hebrew date of the 9th of Av.
It’s estimates that a thousand people participated in the procession.
Towards the end of the walk, as the tail end of the group passed by the southern wall, below the Dung Gate, Arabs who were inside Al Aqsa mosque fired some fireworks, and then began throwing rocks down at the Jews walking on the main road, including at the editor of JewishPress.com, who watched as the rocks flew by.
Muslims throwing stones from Al Aqsa


Arab MKs: Temple Mount Jewish Visits 'Ignite Fires' Among Arabs
The Joint List of Arab parties on Sunday sharply condemned Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel (Jewish Home) for his visit to the Temple Mount earlier in the day. Ariel entered the Temple Mount Sunday morning to commemorate Tisha B'Av at the site of Temple, which was destroyed on this day over 1,900 years ago.
In a statement, the party said that Ariel's “provocative entry was meant to change the status quo, which will lead to the igniting of fires throughout the entire region,” the Arab MKs said. According to the statement, Israeli police “prevented hundreds of believers and worshippers from expressing freedom of worship and prevented them from entering the Al-Aqsa Mosque by means of violence and physical force.”
Jordan rails against Israel’s ‘violation’ on Temple Mount
Amman on Sunday condemned a visit by Jews to Jerusalem’s Temple Mount earlier in the day as a provocative act designed to ignite hostilities after violent clashes at the holy site between Arab rioters and Israeli security forces left several officers injured.
Jordan called the clashes a “violation” of the site. Some 1,200 Israelis visited the Temple Mount on Sunday, which was Tisha B’Av, the day of mourning and fasting commemorating the destruction of two Jewish Temples.
Jews consider the Temple Mount, formerly the site of the two Temples, to be Judaism’s holiest site. Muslims believe the compound which today contains the al-Aqsa Mosque and Dome of the Rock, known in Arabic as the Holy Sanctuary, is the third holiest site in Islam.
Among the group of Jews who visited the Temple Mount was Housing Minister Uri Ariel, a lawmaker with the right-wing Jewish Home party.
“The violation of the sacredness of Haram al-Sharif or holy sanctuary, and the assault against its guards and the worshipers, are a violation of the feelings of all Arabs and Muslims and are designed to ignite further hostility,” Jordanian minister Mohammad Momani said, according to state-run media.
Watch: Muslim Visitor Supports Jewish Prayer on Temple Mount
One Muslim visitor to the Temple Mount has expressed a note of hope and solidarity on Sunday, expressing support for Jewish prayer at Judaism's holiest site amid a flurry of clashes between rioters and police on the date commemorating the Temples' destruction.
Temple Mount rights activist Yehuda Glick posted the interview to his Facebook feed Sunday afternoon, hours after passionately speaking outside the Mount about the need for Jews to reclaim their right to prayer.
"We have to cry not only over the First and Second Temple, but also over the Third Temple, which we don't yet have," Glick stated Sunday morning.
Sunday marks the destruction of the First and Second holy temples, both of which stood on the Temple Mount and were destroyed by the Babylonians and the Romans, respectively.
Watch: Clashes in Hevron as Muslims Disrupt Jewish Prayers
Clashes broke out last night in the holy city of Hevron at the start of the Jewish fast of Tisha B'Av, after Muslims disrupted Jewish prayers at the Cave of the Patriarchs.
The Cave - known as Me'arat Hamachpela in Hebrew - is the second-holiest site in Judaism after Jerusalem's Temple Mount, as the burial place of most of the Jewish patriarchs and matriarchs. It is shared under a unique agreement between Jews and Muslims, who claimed the site as theirs after building a mosque atop the Jewish shrine.
The sensitive arrangement is usually maintained fairly well, although Jewish holy books and other items are sometimes destroyed by Muslim worshippers.
But on Saturday night a provocation threatened to break down the delicate balance when the muezzin - the Muslim man who issues the traditional Islamic call to prayers - disrupted Jewish worshippers reading the Scroll of Eicha (Lamentations) on the night of Tisha B'Av.
The Jewish prayer service was repeatedly disrupted as the muezzin began broadcasting the Islamic call to prayer on loudspeakers - despite the fact that it was not time for Muslim prayers.
PMW: PA: Jerusalem never had a Jewish Temple
Today, on Tisha B'Av, Jews mourn the destruction of the first and second Temples in Jerusalem (586 BCE and 70 CE). However, the Palestinian Authority denies that there ever was a Temple, consistently referring to Solomon's Temple as "the alleged Temple." Moreover, the PA also teaches its people that there was never a Jewish history in Jerusalem.
The Palestinian Authority claims persistently that Israel is "Judaizing" Jerusalem, as Palestinian Media Watch has documented. Israel is said to:
- falsify historical artifacts in order to prove a "false" Jewish history in Jerusalem
- destroy Palestinian and Islamic relics and signs of an Arab presence in the city
- plot to take over and destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque in order to rebuild the "alleged Temple" in its stead
The cartoon above published by Fatah captures this Palestinian narrative. Israeli soldiers are shooting their rifles and rolling a Torah scroll over the word "Jerusalem" which is bloodstained.
[July 13, 2015] Israel is said to be forcing a fake Jewish history on Jerusalem.
Five recent PA TV programs repeated these historical revisions:
Fatah colonel killed in Lebanon’s largest refugee camp
A senior member of Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah movement was shot dead in the Ein El-Hilweh refugee camp near Sidon in south Lebanon Saturday, a security official said.
“Colonel Talal al-Ourdouni was shot dead by two unidentified men while he was walking in the southern part of Ein El-Hilweh camp,” the Palestinian official told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity.
“He was accompanied by two bodyguards, one of whom was also killed and the other was wounded.”
Ourdouni headed a division within the Palestinian national security service in Ein El-Hilweh, the largest of the refugee camps in Lebanon, where armed forces went on the alert after the murders.
Hamas opens military camp for 25,000 Gazans aged 15 and up
The military wing of Hamas opened a Gaza summer camp on Saturday, providing combat training for 25,000 Palestinians as young as 15.
Hamas, an Islamic extremist group that is the de facto power in Gaza, is currently engaged in indirect contacts with Israel to try to reach a long-term truce, but a year after last summer’s devastating 50-day war the terrorist movement has kept up the fighting talk.
“The goal of these military training camps is to train the vanguard for liberation — spiritually, intellectually and physically — to be ready and able to play its role in liberation,” said a statement by the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ military wing.
It said that participants, aged 15-60, would spend two weeks being “trained in military techniques and in firing live ammunition” as well as “first aid and rescue techniques.”
As with all the brigades’ activities the camps will be conducted out of public and media sight.
Google removes Hamas app from Android store
Google has removed from its Android app store a cell phone application built by Hamas, which the terrorist group created to improve its connection with its followers. The app appeared in the Google Play Store, but at 10 p.m. on Saturday night (Israel time) it was removed, and its address no longer appeared on the company's server.
Earlier Saturday, the group announced via its @HamasInfoEn Twitter feed: "Today we launched the android app for the Arabic version of our website, while Apple refused to host the iOS application." Hamas launched an English-language website on June 25.
The app included, among other features, historical information about the group, an overview of its terrorist activities and updates about terrorists being held in Israeli prisons. Google said in a statement that it removes apps that violate its policies, such as those that are illegal or incite hatred.
PreOccupiedTerritory: Hadrian: Glad We Agree On Erasing Jewish History In Holy Land By Publius Aeoliua Hadrianus Caesar, Emperor of Rome (satire)
HadrianIt is not often that a political and military leader of the mighty Roman empire sees eye to eye with the inhabitants of the barbarous areas beyond the mighty Legions’ reach. But indeed, what we are seeing is nothing less than broad agreement that it is necessary to rename the Jewish land and its various towns and cities so that the Jewish connection to the place is eliminated from the popular consciousness. Remember, I’m the one who officially renamed the place Palestine.
We need not get into a discussion of why such a renaming effort is necessary; you future cultures have your reasons, and I have mine. Where our considerations clearly dovetail, though, is the necessity for not calling Judea or Samaria by those pedigreed names. Despite my efforts, as late as the year MCMXLVIII what you call the West Bank was stilled being widely referred to by those names. Only time will tell if that set of new appellations sticks, but so far so good. Good one on you, Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, for rebranding the territory you captured with such a catchy, convincing moniker.
Nomenclature is key, and you grasp that. There are vanishingly few place names in all of “Palestine” with names that originated in Arabic; they are all corruptions of earlier Hebrew, Turkish, or Greek toponyms. That of course challenges the no-Jews version of history, so you have all been hard at work contriving Arabic etymologies – and the back stories that go with them – for Mamilla, Ramallah, and many other locations. I salute your creativity in that regard.
Where Mark Twain viewed a ‘holier’ Western Wall
Nothing remains of the Glory That Was Jerusalem during the Second Temple era but a wall on the western side of the Temple Mount. At one time the wall was thought to have been an actual part of the Second Temple built by King Herod, and was revered as such for its sanctity. Even when it became clear that it was “only” a retaining wall, which helped hold up the compound built around the Temple, it maintained its holy aura. It is the only remnant of the Temple that Jews can touch, pray to and weep upon. As such, it is Judaism’s most hallowed site.
During the Ottoman rule of Israel, Jews were permitted to frequent only a small section of the Wall and the Brits went so far as to refuse permission to blow the shofar for fear of Arab reaction. And even today, women experience humiliating and denigrating treatment – and arrests – at this most sacred of Jewish sites. And this time it is at the hands of their Jewish brethren.
But there is a section of the Western Wall far closer to the Holy of Holies on the Temple Mount than the traditional site of prayer and perhaps that much more sacred. It is called the “Small Wailing Wall” (hakotel hakatan) and is open to all. There is even room there for notes to God, while at the traditional site every nook and cranny is crammed full with tiny scraps of paper.
This important site is found off HaGuy Street inside the Old City walls, a byway replete with bustling markets and historic buildings. To get there, you enter the Old City at Damascus Gate, descend to the bottom and take the street on the left to HaGuy, which is bursting with colorful shops that range from women’s clothing stores to sweet-smelling spice stands. HaGuy street is crowded and has you rubbing shoulders with people from every possible walk of life.
Canadian Minister Makes Official Statement About Tisha B'Av
Canadian Minister of National Defense and Multiculturalism Jason Kenney has released an official statement commemorating Tisha B'Av. The statement, which was published yesterday (Friday) invited his fellow citizens to remembering the way Jews have been mistreated.
Following an explanation of the history and customs of the fast day, Kenney wrote: "On Tisha B’av, Jewish communities around the world will fast and pray to remember these historical wrongs on what is considered the ‘saddest day in Jewish history.'
"Tomorrow I will join with the Jewish community in remembering and mourning the oppression, violence, and suffering that the Jewish people have experienced throughout history, and I encourage all Canadians to do the same."
Kenney has expressed his support for Israel numerous times in the past. In 2006 he compared Hezbollah to the Nazi Party during the 1930s. In 2009 he traveled to Jerusalem and spoke about his efforts to remove government funding for BDS organizations.
Tisha B’Av and the moral necessity of Jewish power
In Israel, it is now Tisha B’Av, a day of mourning to commemorate the many tragedies that have befallen the Jewish people throughout their history on the same date on the Hebrew calendar — the ninth day of the Hebrew month of Av.
Tisha B’Av primarily commemorates the destruction of the First and Second Temples, but on this day we also reflect on the many other calamities which occurred on this date, from the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492 to the mass deportation of Jews from the Warsaw Ghetto.
On this day, I tend to reflect on our painful collective recollection of past catastrophes in the context of the Jewish community’s often ambivalent relationship with power – ruminations only heightened by my still relatively new Israeli citizenship, a nation often forced to exercise power to prevent additional tragedies from befalling our people.
Israel’s very rebirth in 1948 can be seen as a direct response to these calamitous events — an attempt, through the various mechanisms of statecraft, to turn Jewish history around and act instead of being acted upon. Whether defending itself in war or aiding and rescuing endangered Jewish communities around the world, the Jewish collective has had at its disposal — for the first time in over 2000 years — a state apparatus with the means (politically, diplomatically, and militarily) to protect its interests as other nations have throughout history.
However, with this exercise of political strength comes a price, a unique moral burden that many Jews in the diaspora seem unwilling or unable to bear — as any exertion of power, or control over your own fate, inevitably carries with it the loss of innocence often projected upon people perceived to be lacking moral agency.
Shabbat Shalom from all corners of the world!
While they may come from all corners of the world, they are all united in their love for Israel, and wish all a Shabbat Shalom


Adam Sandler: I always had a great connection with Israel
In Israel, Adam Sandler is well loved, and we often forgive him for silly comedies in bad taste like "Grown Ups," "Jack and Jill" and "That's My Boy," for which he won quite a few Razzies awards and received a lot of bad press.
The appreciation he gets from the Holy Land comes from the fact he is a lovable Jew who is proud of his love for the State of Israel. He even dedicated his movie "You Don't Mess with the Zohan" (2008) to us, the Israelis, and played the leading role of a Mossad agent.
He says he identifies with Israelis "a hundred percent," that he is a big supporter of the country, and that he hates it when Israel suffers from bad reputation in the media.
"I always had a great connection with Israel and the fact that the Israelis are like the Zohan, that makes me feel great," he adds.
Flying Below Sea Level Above The Dead Sea 9h/t IsraellyCool)


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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 12 years and over 25,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.

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