Monday, August 17, 2015

From Ian:

Douglas Murray: The New Racists: Jew Hate
If you had thought that the only qualification needed is to excel at your chosen art form and then see if you can gather audiences, you were wrong. That is not enough anymore -- certainly not if you are Jewish.
The treatment of the reggae star Matisyahu is something new. For Matisyahu is not an Israeli -- he is an American. For a while, only Israeli Jews were made pariahs among the nations because of an unresolved border dispute involving their country. Now it is Jews born anywhere else in the world who can be targeted in the same way. They are singling out Jews -- Jews and only Jews.
Habima performers were insulted and vilified while on stage at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, trying to perform "The Merchant of Venice." None of the protesters seemed to see the irony of vilifying Jews on stage during that of all plays.
Spain has its own border issues. Perhaps Spanish performers should henceforth be quizzed about their political attitudes before they are allowed to perform abroad? Maybe the rest of the world should demand that all artists from Spain sign a statement or make a video supporting Catalan independence if they are to be allowed to perform in public?
Only one country and one geopolitical question is addressed in this way. Turkish artists are nowhere in the world asked to condemn their country's illegal occupation of Northern Cyprus -- an occupation, lasting more than four decades, of half an EU member state.
Their singling out of Jews, wherever they are from, makes their racist motivation abundantly clear. If the Rototom Sunsplash festival wants to take part in this racist BDS fever then it is them -- and not Jews -- whom the world must make into pariahs.
Foreign Ministry: Spanish festival's boycott of US Jew Matisyahu proves BDS is anti-Semitic
If you plan on going to the Sunsplash Rototom Reggae Festival in Spain this week, you better not speak the language of the Hebrewman. If you do, they might kick you out.
The festival’s cancellation of a scheduled August 22 appearance by Jewish-American reggae artist Matisyahu – under pressure from Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) activists – unmasks the anti-Semitic nature of that movement, a Foreign Ministry representative said Sunday.
“We always said that BDS was not connected to the Palestinian issue or the settlements but was nothing more than Jew hatred,” spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon said.
“And this demonstrates that.”
Matisyahu, Nahshon stressed, is not Israeli.
WJC President Condemns Cancellation of Matisyahu Concert
World Jewish Congress (WJC) President Ronald S. Lauder on Sunday expressed “outrage” and “utter bewilderment” at news that a music festival in Spain had disinvited American Jewish musician Matisyahu for failing to sign a pro-Palestinian declaration.
“This is a clear instance of anti-Semitism, and nothing else,” Lauder said in a statement, urging Spanish authorities “to condemn this sad incident and to take appropriate action those responsible for it.”
“Matisyahu is an American Jew. More importantly, like everybody else in a free and democratic society, he not only has a right to express his views – whether you agree with them or not — but he also has every right not to have the repugnant views of the festival organizers imposed on him. He is a musician who has been denied the opportunity to play his planned gig at a European reggae festival purely because he is Jewish and because he refuses to side with the vicious and bigoted BDS movement,” Lauder said.
“And to the people of Spain, I say this: Being a ‘Zionist’ and supporting Israel has nothing to do with supporting apartheid. Rather, it is about supporting democracy, the rule of law, freedom, openness and diversity,” he continued.
“The Rototom Sunsplash festival benefits from financial support from public authorities. I very much hope that they will convey a clear message to the organizers that either they re-invite Matisyahu and apologize for their outrageous behavior, or they pay back that financial aid, because anti-Semitism and racism must not be rewarded by public support – not in Spain, and not anywhere else,” added Lauder.



MEMRI: Iranian VP And Atomic Chief Salehi Reveals Details From Secret Iran-U.S. Nuclear Talks: Khamenei Made Direct Talks Conditional Upon Achieving Immediate Results; U.S. Conveyed Its Recognition Of Iran's Enrichment Rights
In an interview published in the daily Iran on August 4, 2015 under the title "The Black Box of the Secret Negotiations between Iran and America," Iranian vice president and Atomic Energy Organization head Ali Akbar Salehi, who is a senior member of Iran's negotiation team and was foreign minister under president Ahmadinejad, revealed new details on the secret bilateral talks between Iran and the U.S. that started during Ahmadinejad's second presidential term. According to Salehi, U.S. Secretary of Energy Dr. Ernest Moniz, whom Salehi knew from his period as a doctoral student at MIT, was appointed to the American negotiation team at Salehi's request, a request which the Americans met within hours.
Salehi added that Khamenei agreed to open a direct channel of negotiations between Iran and the U.S. on the condition that the talks would yield results from the start and would not deal with any other issue, especially not with U.S.-Iran relations. Following this, Salehi demanded, via the Omani mediator Sultan Qaboos, that the U.S. recognize Iran's right to enrich uranium, and received a letter from Qaboos expressing such American recognition, which he relayed to Ahmadinejad.
Iranian official: Moniz joined nuclear talks because of me
It is becoming increasingly evident that Iran dictated the terms of the nuclear negotiations with world powers. In an Iran Daily interview published this month, Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization, provided a behind-the-scenes look at the talks -- and the picture he presented was not a flattering one for world powers.
According to a translation of the interview provided by the Middle East Media Research Institute, Salehi, who was a senior member of the Iranian negotiating team, demanded that his old acquaintance, U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, join the talks. Salehi first became familiar with Moniz in the 1970s when Salehi was a student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The Americans acceded to Salehi's demand.
"Moniz joined the talks because of me," Salehi said.
Salehi said he himself had been called on to join the talks in February 2015, when it became clear that most of the remaining problems to be resolved were technical in nature.
Salehi said he was very pleased with the direct dialogue with Moniz.
 Obama Has Destroyed the Military Option on Iran
The major options available to the president in the face of an Iranian nuclear threat are covert (sabotage, cyberwarfare) and military (precision airstrikes with bunker-busting bombs). Mr. Obama has these at his disposal today. But his successor is unlikely to have them in 10 years.
Why? For seven reasons.
First, amazingly, the Vienna nuclear agreement requires the Europeans to assist Iran with training and technology in protecting its nuclear sites and program against sabotage. It is no coincidence that, in 2013, when Mr. Obama deviated from his earlier insistence on Tehran ceasing uranium enrichment in favor of negotiating a deal permitting continued enrichment, the CIA and NSA “drastically curtailed its cooperation with Israel.” This cooperation, aimed at disrupting the Iranian nuclear project, had enjoyed “significant successes over the past decade,” according to veteran military and intelligence analyst Ronen Bergman.
The nuclear deal thus renders future sabotage and cyberwarfare against Iran — such as the Stuxnet virus, which wrecked a fifth of Iran’s centrifuges in 2010 — more difficult; perhaps, in time, even impossible.
Second, Mr. Obama has himself admitted the possibility that, at the deal’s expiration, “the breakout times would have shrunk almost down to zero.” (So much for his current claim that “Iran [would be] further away from a weapon” in 10-15 years). This means there might not be time to act even militarily, since Iran may well already have one or more nuclear weapons.
Third, Tehran will have had the time to reinforce existing underground facilities and build new, deeper ones that might be impervious to airstrikes. This means that the 30,000-pound Massive Ordnance Penetrator, the bunker-busting bombs which can penetrate Iran’s underground nuclear facility at Fordow, might not be enough to do the job.
Obama can do Iran nuclear deal even if Congress disapproves
The September vote on the Iran nuclear deal is billed as a titanic standoff between President Barack Obama and Congress. Yet even if lawmakers reject the agreement, it's not game-over for the White House.
A congressional vote of disapproval would not prevent Obama from acting on his own to start putting the accord in place. While he probably would take some heavy criticism, this course would let him add the foreign policy breakthrough to his second-term list of accomplishments.
Obama doesn't need a congressional OK to give Iran most of the billions of dollars in relief from economic sanctions that it would get under the agreement, as long as Tehran honors its commitments to curb its nuclear program — at least for now.
"A resolution to disapprove the Iran agreement may have substantial political reverberations, but limited practical impact," says Robert Satloff, executive director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. "It would not override President Obama's authority to enter into the agreement."
Lawmakers on their summer break are deciding how to vote. A look at the current state of play:
The J Street paradox
American Jews are embarrassed. The feeling that U.S. President Barack Obama is determined to approve a deal with a country that threatens to destroy Israel puts them in an uncomfortable position. Concerns about the consequences of the deal have united most Jewish organizations in an unprecedented manner, as they work with various American groups making every effort to thwart it.
It is therefore puzzling that the left-wing Jewish lobby group J Street, which purports to be "pro-Israel and pro-peace," chose to remove itself from the Israeli consensus that is supported by most American Jewish organizations.
J Street is not embarrassed, however. It is in the midst of a multi-million dollar campaign supporting the deal, which -- even if the optimists are correct, and a nuclear Iran is delayed -- still gives the ayatollahs billions of dollars that they will use, among other things, to arm terrorists against Israel. How can J Street call itself pro-Israel when it works against the majority of Israelis?
Joel Pollak: Iran Deal Has No Significant Public Support
If rallies could vote, the Iran deal would lose in a landslide.
Supporters of the deal–who consist of a small minority of the Iranian expatriate community, and the radical left fringe–have held several rallies across the country in recent weeks.
The largest of these, in Los Angeles, reached 200 participants–a tiny fraction of the 800,000-strong Iranian-American community in the city. This weekend’s rally in Washington, D.C. reached 100 participants. Around 80 gathered in San Diego.
In contrast, over 10,000 rallied against the Iran deal in Times Square last month, and 1,000 gathered at a Los Angeles rally.
Supporters of the Iran deal have also tried to crash town hall meetings of U.S. Senators and Representatives. But they were a no-show last week in at least one California district, and barely managed a handful of demonstrators in New York–against hundreds of opponents of the deal.
The low interest and attendance by supporters of the Iran deal are reflected by national polls, which show that Americans oppose the deal roughly 2-to-1.
Ambassador Dermer on Israeli Support for Netanyahu on Iran Deal: Moses Didn’t Have Those Numbers
Israel’s Ambassador to the United States, Ron Dermer, said on Sunday that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has more support in the Jewish state for his opposition to the Iran nuclear deal than Moses had when he led the Israelites out of Egypt.
Dermer’s comment was made in an interview with CNN‘s Fareed Zakaria in response to a question on whether it was prudent policy for Israel to oppose the Obama Administration on the Iran deal, given the importance of Washington’s support for Israel’s security.
Acknowledging the centrality of Israel’s relationship with the United States, Dermer said that ensuring the State of Israel’s survival was more important, and that, “the Prime Minister of Israel and the head of the [opposition] agree that this is a very bad deal that endangers Israel’s security.” He continued, “in Israel this view is shared by the Prime Minister, by the head of the opposition [Isaac Herzog], by 30 out of 33 members of our Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. Moses didn’t have those kind of numbers.”
Dermer also said he believed that President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry were sincere when they claimed that the Iran deal would make both the United States and Israel safer, but, “We just disagree with their judgment. We think this deal will endanger Israel’s security.”
He also said that while Israel is not directly lobbying U.S. lawmakers to vote down the deal, “We are telling them that this is a bad deal that endangers Israel’s security.”
An Open Letter to President Obama From the Children of Holocaust Survivors
Dear President Obama,
As proud children of Jewish Holocaust survivors, we strongly condemn your recent statement that Israel and Prime Minister Netanyahu are the only ones who oppose your ill-conceived deal with Iran.
Rather than propagate these erroneous and misleading attacks, the American people would be better served if you highlighted the truly relevant facts. Fortunately, the Israeli people, Netanyahu, and many members of Congress seem to understand these facts – especially in light of the important lessons of the Holocaust.
You, and those who support you, are quick to appear at annual Holocaust memorial commemorations and utter the words “we shall never forget.” But, with this deal, it is abundantly clear that you have indeed forgotten, or perhaps never understood the lessons of the Holocaust. At least Neville Chamberlain did not have the advantage of history as his guide.
Iranian Dissidents: Nuke Deal Will Enrich “Tyrants and Theocrats,” Fund Human Rights Abuses
A group of 53 Iranian dissidents wrote a letter, published Friday by The Daily Beast, outlining their opposition to the nuclear deal with Iran and arguing that the agreement’s failure to hold Tehran accountable for its human rights abuses, both domestic and international, will only empower the Islamic regime and endanger the world.
This deal will provide up to $150 billion windfall of cash into the bank account of our tyrants and theocrats. This money will not be spent on the Iranian people but rather to enrich a repressive regime.
Sadly, the world has not demanded real improvements in human rights. Thousands of activists continue to languish behind bars (including several Americans) and it is tragic that their release was not included in these discussions.
We are sounding the alarm bells before it is too late. Those who care about peace should help restore focus to the Iranian regime’s brutal human rights records, its support for global terror and role in destabilizing the Middle East. More pressure should be applied to the regime, not less.
Khamenei: Deal or No Deal, Iran Will 'Shut' US Out
The fate of Iran's nuclear deal with world powers is still undecided but it will not leave the country open to US influence, supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Monday.
Khamenei, the country's highest authority, said in a statement quoted on his website that Tehran would block any US attempt to influence Iran despite the historic accord.
"They think that through this agreement - the fate of which is not clear as no one knows if it will be approved here or in America - they could find a way to intrude into the country," Khamenei said.
"We have closed such a path and will decisively shut it. We'll allow neither economic nor political nor cultural intrusion by the United States."
Iran Declares: Even if Congress Defeats Deal, We Won
The US Congress is currently engaged in a 60-day review period of the Iran nuclear deal after which it will vote on whether or not to approve the agreement, but according to the Islamic regime it has "won," no matter what Congress decides.
Ali Akbar Salehi, head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), told a gathering in Tehran on Sunday that Iran has won, even if Congress rejects the deal and blocks US President Barack Obama's veto, reports the semi-official Fars News Agency.
"The fate of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCOPA) is not fully clear yet since there is commotion in the US, and the Congress and the US administration have stood up to each other," Salehi said of the Iran deal.
But he added that "no matter (if) the JCPOA is approved or disapproved by the US Congress and even if Obama fails to do anything, we will be the winning party."
Iran's Hard-Liners Call on Parliament to Reject Nuclear Deal
Around 50 hard-line students and activists in Iran staged a rally, calling on the parliament to reject the landmark nuclear deal reached with world powers last month, The Associated Press (AP) reported on Sunday, citing Iran's official IRNA news agency.
The report said the protesters carried signs outside the parliament building decrying the agreement as an "injustice to our nation."
Lawmaker Zohre Tayebzadeh addressed the crowds, claiming the deal crosses "red lines" by allowing the United States to supervise Iran's uranium enrichment program.
Iran's parliament and the Supreme National Security Council, the country's highest security decision-making body, are to consider the agreement in the coming days, noted AP.
Donald Trump Says Iran Deal Will Lead to ‘Nuclear Holocaust’ (VIDEO)
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said on Sunday that the Iran nuclear deal concluded in Vienna last month will result in a nuclear Holocaust.
“They are going to be such a wealthy, such a powerful nation, they are going to have nuclear weapons,” the 2016 hopeful said of Iran in an appearance on NBC’s Meet the Press. “They are going to take over parts of the world that you wouldn’t believe. And I think it’s going to lead to nuclear Holocaust.”
The bombastic business tycoon went on to describe the negotiators of the accord, including Secretary of State John Kerry “and his friends,” as “incompetent.”
In contrast to other Republican candidates, Trump told Meet the Press host Chuck Todd that he wouldn’t discard the nuclear deal on day one of his presidency, but, he said, he would “police that contract so tough that they don’t have a chance, as bad as the contract is. I will be so tough on that contract.”
Presidential Candidate Ben Carson Implies Obama’s Iran Deal is Antisemitic (VIDEO)
Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson suggested on Sunday that the Iran nuclear deal spearheaded by President Barack Obama is antisemitic.
“I think anything is antisemitic that is against the survival of a state that is surrounded by enemies and by people who want to destroy them and to sort of ignore that and to act like everything is normal there and that these people are paranoid, I think that’s antisemitic,” Carson said on Fox News Sunday when asked about a recent Jerusalem Post op-ed he had written on the subject.
Although the retired Johns Hopkins neurosurgeons did not specifically mention the Iran deal, he said that during a recent visit to Israel he could not find one person who “didn’t feel that this administration has turned its back on Israel.”
Indirectly criticizing Obama, Carson said a U.S. president should hold a position that “begins to draw people together behind a vision, not one where you castigate those who believe different from you.”
In the Jerusalem Post article, the surgeon-turned-politician called President Obama the “divider-in-chief” and said the language he has used to argue for the Iran nuclear agreement had “antisemitic themes.”
Huckabee Traveling to Israel to Discuss 'Insane' Iran Deal
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee has been one of the more vocal of the Republican presidential candidates in condemning President Obama's Iran deal, particularly as it will impact Israel. In an interview on CNN's "State of the Union" this weekend, Huckabee announced that he was traveling to Israel to do some fundraising and to discuss the president's "insane" deal.
Guest host Dana Bash brought up Huckabee's planned two-day trip to Israel this week and asked, "Why is it more important to be in Israel than in Iowa right now?"
Huckabee said he had "several activities" planned, including fundraising and meeting with "a number of officials" to discuss the deal, which he said is "the most dangerous situation" the country faces.
Sharpton Calls On Black Churches to Support Iran Deal
Social justice activist and MSNBC host Al Sharpton is calling on black churches to organize in defense of President Obama's unpopular Iran deal. Sharpton's argument: If the deal is blocked, America might be drawn into a war with Iran, which will inevitably lead to the deaths of a "disproportionate" number of African Americans.
"We have a disproportionate interest, being that if there is a war, our community is always disproportionately part of the armed services, and that a lot of the debate is by people who will not have family members who will be at risk," Sharpton told Huffington Post writer and MSNBC contributor Ryan Grim Saturday.
"I am calling on ministers in black churches nationwide to go to their pulpits Sunday and have their parishioners call their senators and congressman to vote yes on the Iran nuclear plan," said Sharpton, who regularly turns to African American churches to support his political activism.
"There needs to be a balance in this. Clearly lobbyists and others like AIPAC are pushing on their side and there needs to be an organized effort on the other side," said Sharpton, echoing one of the president's more inflammatory talking points. "And we're kicking it off tomorrow morning."
No verdict yet for US reporter on trial in Iran
Lawyer Leila Ahsan said last Monday that the secretive trial had its final session and that she expected a verdict “within a week.”
But the head of Tehran’s justice department, Gholamhossein Esmaili, said Sunday that the court had yet to reach a decision.
“The end of the proceedings in the file of Jason Rezaian has yet to be announced. The verdict has yet to be reached,” Esmaili was quoted as saying by the official ISNA news agency. “The judge sets the date of the verdict.”
Rezaian, a 39-year-old Iranian-American, has been in custody more than a year and is being tried behind closed doors, drawing condemnation from his family, employer and press freedom groups.
His newspaper has called the trial a “sick brew of farce and tragedy” and said it “has been anything but transparent and just”.
U.N. Human Rights Experts Call on Iran to Release American Journalist Jason Rezaian
The Washington Post asked the United Nations to support its demand for the release of captive journalist Jason Rezaian, held prisoner for over a year by the Iranian regime on absurd charges of “espionage.” As Rezaian’s long, secret “trial” grinds on, several U.N. human-rights experts have expressed their concerns.
“The arrest, detention and secret trial of Mr. Rezaian violate his rights and intimidate all those working in the media in Iran,” said David Kaye, the U.N. special rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression, as reported at the Washington Post. “His continued detention violates basic rules that not only aim to protect journalists, bloggers, human rights activists and others, but to guarantee everyone’s right to information.”
Seong-Phil Hong, head of the U.N. Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, said that Jason Rezaian “seems to have been detained for the simple fact of having exercised his rights to freedom of expression, association and political participation,” while his “rights to legal counsel of his choice and to due process of law seem to have been forgotten.”
Kuwaiti news reports: Seized weapons were smuggled in from Iran
An immense arms cache that had been seized in Kuwait was smuggled into the country from Iran, two Kuwaiti newspapers reported on Sunday.
The Kuwaiti Interior Ministry said on Thursday that authorities had found ammunition, explosives, weapons and grenades in holes dug under houses in an area near the Iraqi border. Three men who owned the houses were detained.
Al-Anba, one of the country’s most circulated newspapers, reported that the weapons had been smuggled across the border from Iraq for use by members of an Iranian-backed Hezbollah cell.
But the dailies, al-Rai and al-Qabas – citing unnamed sources – made known on Sunday that the weapons had been brought into Kuwait by sea from Iran. They quoted the sources as saying that the new information had come from confessions made by the detainees during interrogation.
Al-Qabas said that the number of suspects held on foot of the investigation has now risen to 13.
“The suspects have disclosed that there is a direct Iranian line in supplying weapons to Kuwait by sea,” al-Rai reported.
PMW: Mahmoud Abbas to visit Iran as PA – Iran strengthen bilateral ties
Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas will be visiting Teheran in the near future in order to strengthen bilateral ties. Senior Fatah official Abbas Zaki, who is traveling to Iran to arrange Abbas’ visit, said the ties are “an inevitable step if we [the palestinians] want to confront the Israeli occupation.” In the past Iran was a significant supplier of weapons used in terror against Israel and was behind the shipping of 50 tons of weapons to the Palestinian Authority on the ship "Karine A" that Israel intercepted in 2002.
Earlier this month Abbas already sent a senior official to Teheran to deliver a personal letter to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani about the “Israeli offensives against ‘our people and its holy places.’” PLO Executive Committee Member Ahmed Majdalani was sent “to repair its relations with Iran... and it was agreed to determine actual steps to bring the occupation to an end, in addition to Palestinian participation in resolving the Syrian crisis. This is due to the fact that President Abbas’ initiative and the Iranian initiative to end the war taking place there intersect.”
Significantly, the PA has been reluctant up until now to publicly take sides in the Syrian civil war, in which Iran has been the main supporter of the forces of Syrian President Assad. It may be that in the interest of receiving Iranian aid the PA is willing to side with the Assad regime.
At that first meeting it was decided to schedule the Abbas visit to Iran and that Abbas Zaki will lead a Fatah delegation to Iran to plan the details of the visit.
Looking Ahead at Middle East "Peace"
The U.S. has provided approximately $5 billion to the Palestinians in bilateral aid since the mid-1990s and about $540 million this year. The EU added more than €500 million ($558 million), making it the largest single-year donor. Why should Palestinian Authority (PA) not have to pay the bill for its own savage behavior? And why is the U.S. so determined to protect it?
According to the deputy head of UNRWA, the organization needs $101 million in order to open schools on time. Why does the Hamas government not pay for its own children to go to school? And why does the Hamas government not pay for the repair of its own people's houses? UNRWA and the U.S. government seem to believe that the PA and Hamas cannot be expected to spend their own funds -- or donated funds -- on the needs of their own people. Hamas can therefore use all its funds to make war.
As long as Hamas and the PA are permitted both to spend sponsors' money on terrorism and warfare while escaping responsibility for the needs of their people, and as long as Iran is a key donor -- with all the temptations, means and opportunity to "wipe Israel," as it repeatedly threatens to do -- the idea of a U.S.-led "peace process" is fantasy.
Prosor Complains Against Anti-Semitic UN Executive
Israel's Ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor met this week with Carmen Lapointe, UN Under-Secretary-General for Internal Oversight Services, and submitted a demand for an investigation into the behavior of Rima Khalaf, Executive Secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA).
Prosor demanded that Khalaf be placed before a disciplinary court, according to a report Monday on Army Radio.
The issues with Khalaf are not new. Last year, Prosor asked UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon to fire Khalaf, after she indirectly compared Israel with Nazi Germany, and blamed Israel for all of the Arab world's problems in the area of development.
Ban spoke with Khalaf about the matter but did not fire her.
Several weeks ago, Khalaf again made provocative statements against Israel.
She expressed support for the hostile “flotilla” that sought to breach Israel's maritime blockade on Gaza in June, and said the move was legitimate. She compared the Israeli response to an act of terror, saying: “The Israeli response to the flotilla is like the violent abductions carried out by pirates at sea, in the air and on land, which the world does not hesitate to call terror.”
At another event, which took place at the UN HQ in New York, she said that “terror activities” constitute “a war for justice.”
Will an Undiplomatic Appointment Hurt Israel?
Netanyahu may actually be counting on Danon’s ambition causing him to avoid saying stupid things or starting needless quarrels. After all, Netanyahu’s own rise can be dated to his tenure in the same UN post from 1984-88. By giving him the opportunity to demonstrate a grasp of foreign affairs that goes beyond slogans — a prerequisite if he is ever to have a realistic chance of becoming prime minister — Netanyahu may be hoping that Danon will behave in a manner that will do his country credit. Indeed, Danon’s promise to faithfully represent Netanyahu’s policies, including a two-state solution, seems to indicate that he is probably more interested in getting ahead than ideological purity.
Perhaps Netanyahu may also be thinking that having as one of its chief spokespersons someone who can articulate Israel’s case in a non-defensive manner won’t harm Israel. For decades, too many professional Israeli diplomats have de-emphasized any mentions of Israel’s rights in the conflict with the Palestinians and spoken instead only of its security. That enabled them to fit in better among their fellow diplomats at world forums, but it created an unbalanced discussion that favored Israel’s enemies. In any debate between those who claim their rights and those that only talk of wanting to be safe, the former always prevail in the court of international opinion.
In the last two years, Netanyahu has rightly sought to change that by appointing ambassadors with more forthright styles. It is a matter of opinion as to whether that approach is working. But those who claim that those who speak for Israel must only discuss the desire for peace and compromise must account for the fact that the last 20 years of peace processing and Israeli concessions has only worsened its international image rather than helped it.
Red Cross offering training to Hamas on International Law
The International Committee of the Red Cross have begun training courses for Hamas militants last month in International Law and humanitarian principles, the New York Times reported on Sunday.
The sessions, which began last month, discussed how the International Criminal Court dictates wartime conduct and how it decides what constitutes war crimes.
The challenge for those organizing the lessons, however, was convincing members of Hamas' armed Kassam Brigades, that international law and Islamic law could work hand in hand, according to the report.
Some members of the military wing saw connections between Islamic and Western law, using verses from the Kuran. "The prophet used to give orders to his army that you should not kill any child, nor cut down any tree," said one member. "As long as he is not fighting me, I should not kill him."
Others, however, were more skeptical of the courses, and argued that in the ongoing conflict with Israel, using these humanitarian principles should sometimes be "overlooked, because the situation is different."
Khaled Abu Toameh: Source: Delegation heads to Egypt to discuss long-term truce between Hamas and Israel
A senior Hamas delegation is preparing to head to Egypt for talks on a possible long-term truce between the Islamist movement and Israel, sources in the Gaza Strip revealed on Sunday.
The sources said that the delegation, which would be headed by Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, is also expected to visit Qatar and Turkey.
They said that it was not clear yet whether the Egyptian authorities had given permission to the Hamas officials to enter Egypt through the Rafah border crossing.
Other sources claimed that the Hamas delegation has been invited to a meeting in Cairo with the head of Egypt’s General Intelligence Service to discuss efforts to achieve a long-term truce with Israel.
Ahmed Yusef, a top Hamas official, was quoted last weekend as saying that significant progress has been achieved toward reaching a long-term truce in the Gaza Strip.
Turkish-Israeli detente contingent on Gaza ceasefire, official says
Israel’s ability to normalize diplomatic relations with Turkey is contingent upon a ceasefire agreement with Hamas to ease the Gaza blockade, a Turkish official said on Monday.
“The negotiations surrounding [the Turkish vessel Mavi] Marmara are proceeding gradually and are interlaced with Hamas’s negotiations on a ceasefire,” Yasin Aktay, an adviser to Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglo, told Hamas daily al-Resalah, which called the Gaza blockade “a Turkish matter.”
For the past five years, Turkey and Israel have been negotiating the terms of a diplomatic solution to the crisis caused by the May 2010 killing of nine Turkish activists during an IDF commando raid on the Turkish vessel Mavi Marmara, which, as part of a six-ship flotilla, attempted to break the Israeli naval blockade imposed on Gaza.
Even before the flotilla, once warm ties between Jerusalem and Ankara soured over Israel’s military actions in Gaza.
In the extensive al-Resalah interview, held on the heels of a visit by Hamas political chief Khaled Mashaal to Ankara last week, Aktay said Turkey is discussing with the government of Greek Cyprus the establishment of a waystation sea port, meant to deliver goods to the Gaza Strip under international supervision. He predicted that an agreement would be reached early next year.
Terror groups in Lebanon denounce ISIL, reject own blacklisting by Canada
Two political parties in the Middle East designated as terror groups by Canada predict the Islamic State movement won't survive and question why they're blacklisted when co-operation could defeat the common enemy.
Representatives of both Hezbollah and Hamas in Lebanon have separately condemned ISIL in rare meetings with The Canadian Press.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper has denounced the jihadist militants, a position he has used to buttress Canada's involvement in the U.S.-led coalition conducting airstrikes in Iraq and Syria.
National security is a leading issue in the Oct. 19 federal election.
ISIL is "not accepted" by most Muslims represented by Hamas, said its boss in Lebanon, Osama Hamdan.
"In Gaza, we do have the resolution to deal harshly and prevent these groups," he said.
A source close to Hezbollah's top leadership said extremist movements "mushroom, but they never last and don't find a place with moderate Sunnis and Shias.
'UN Won't Stop ISIS Even if it Beheads Everyone in Libya'
However, Libya's Ambassador to the UN Ibrahim al-Dabashi expressed his pessimism that the Security Council would in fact take action.
In an interview with the London-based Arabic paper Asharq Al-Awsat, al-Dabashi said on Sunday that the UNSC will not agree to arm the Libyan army before a national consensus government is formed - even if ISIS conquers all of Libya and beheads all of its citizens first.
Al-Dabashi accused the Security Council of "encouraging" the massacres conducted by ISIS and being partners to the crimes.
According to the UN representative, every weapon-bearing Libyan citizen who does not take part in the war against ISIS is a "coward" and is an accomplice to the crimes, and they should expect to be killed like the rest when ISIS arrives.
Many families have fled Sirte, the birthplace of Libya's former ruler Muammar Gaddafi, after ISIS executed 73 youths there including children under the age of 14, and proceeded to burn their bodies on the coast. ISIS likewise beheaded 12 others and crucified their bodies.
ISIS 'Mein Kampf' Blames Israel for Global Terrorism
Intelligence officials are comparing a newly discovered secret Islamic State document to Hitler’s “Mein Kampf,” as it blames Israel for the rise of the Islamic State and crowns U.S. President Barack Obama as the “Mule of the Jews.”
The document serves as a Nazi-like recruiting pitch that attempts to unite dozens of factions of the Pakistani and Afghan Taliban into a single army of terror. It includes a never-before-seen history of the Islamic State, details chilling future battle plans and urges al-Qaeda to join Islamic State.
Its tone is direct: “Accept the fact that this caliphate will survive and prosper until it takes over the entire world and beheads every last person that rebels against Allah. This is the bitter truth, swallow it.”
Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal center for human rights who heads Center’s Digital Terrorism and Hate Project, compares the Islamic State threats in the document to the rise of Nazism pre-World War II.
The brutal killing of a teacher and three children at the Ozar Hatorah school in Toulouse in 2012 by an Algerian Islamist was a major signal to the Jewish community that Europe was no longer safe and that not enough was being done to curtail the rise of anti-semitism, he said.
“It’s important to remember what our founder, Wiesenthal said, ‘it often starts with the Jews but it never ends with the Jews,” Cooper said. “As a matter fact [Islamic State] did not create anti-semitism but they are taking advantage of it, and they are building on it."


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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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