Thursday, September 03, 2015

From Ian:

The Democrats Now Own Iran. They’ll Soon Wish They Didn’t
Obama and the Democrats now say they will get behind Israel and strengthen its defenses even though the deal makes Iran a threshold nuclear power almost immediately. That renders talk of preserving Israel’s qualitative military edge over potential foes meaningless.
But what this means is that every act of Iranian terror, every instance of Hamas and Hezbollah using Iranian funds and material to wage war against Israel or moves against Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states must now be seen as having been enabled not just by Obama but also by his party.
If Iran cheats its way to a bomb before the deal expires or uses the wealth that Obama is lavishing on it to get them to agree to this deal to undermine regional stability it won’t be possible in the future for Democrats to say that this was simply Obama’s folly. No, by docilely following his lead for a deal that few of them were eager to embrace, the entire Democratic Party must now pray that the president is right and that Iran will seek to “get right with the world” rather than pursuing a religious and ideological agenda of conflict with the West and Israel.
Obama got his deal despite the opposition of the majority of Congress and the American people. But the Democratic Party now gets to pay the bill for it. By making Iran a partisan issue in this manner, Obama saddled his party with the blame for everything that will happen in the coming years. Munich analogies are often inappropriate but when Rep. Patrick Murphy (the likely Democratic nominee for the Senate seat Marco Rubio is vacating next year) said the deal gives us “peace in our time,” his channeling of Neville Chamberlain was no ordinary gaffe. In the years to come when Obama is retired and Iran uses the deal to make new mischief and atrocities, Democrats may regret giving in to the president’s pressure. But, like the appeasers of the 1930s, the legacy of the pro-Iran deal Democrats is now set in stone. (h/t NormanF)
Netanyahu: Majority of Americans see eye to eye with Israel on Iranian threat
In a Rosh Hashana toast with Foreign Ministry employees Thursday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the majority of Americans see Iran as a threat, and despite disagreements,the United States remains Israel's closest friend and ally.
"Even in the face of disputes, Israel must be mindful of its traditional allies, chiefly the United States," Netanyahu said. "And although the majority of Americans see eye to eye with us in terms of the threat Iran poses, its important that the American public understand the fact that Iran is an enemy of the United States and openly declares it."
"Israel and the United States are allies and this understanding has important implications for our continued security cooperation," Netanyahu added.
Retired Military Leaders: Iran Nuke Deal Makes War More Likely
The nuclear agreement with Iran will increase the likelihood of military conflict, according to a council of prominent retired military leaders and intelligence officials.
The Jewish Institute for National Security Affair’s (JINSA) Iran Strategy Council released a report Wednesday that contends that the United States will be in a “far worse position to prevent a nuclear Iran” after 10 to 15 years of the agreement regarding Tehran’s nuclear capacity, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
“Implementing JCPOA will have significant strategic consequences for our interests and allies in the region,” retired Gen. James Conway and retired Air Force Gen. Chuck Wald, who together chair the council, said in a statement.
According to the report, “the agreement increases both the probability and danger of hostilities with Iran.”
The report also suggests that the deal will allow Iran to grow more militarily capable over the next decade as the United States sees an erosion of its own forces.
“The United States is in a far better position to prevent a nuclear Iran today, even by military means if necessary, than when the JCPOA sunsets,” the authors say. “The strategic environment will grow much more treacherous in the next 15 years. Comparatively, Iran will be economically stronger, regionally more powerful and militarily more capable, while the United States will have a smaller, less capable fighting force, diminished credibility and fewer allies. ”
Survey: 67% of American National Security Professionals Say Nuke Deal is Bad for US, Allies
A survey found that two thirds of government personnel in the national security sector, including the Department of Defense and military, do not believe that the nuclear agreement with Iran is good for American interests, Defense One reported yesterday. Significantly, 58% of those surveyed serve at a managerial level or above.
Asked to evaluate the statement “The Iran nuclear deal is a good deal for the United States,” some 66 percent of responders disagreed — and two-thirds of that group “strongly disagreed.”
The group’s outlook was even dimmer about the deal’s effect on U.S. allies. Most respondents said that it would have a somewhat or mostly negative impact on the security of Israel (71%), Saudi Arabia (67%), the Gulf Arab states (67%), Jordan (59%), Iraq (58%), and Europe (53%).
Furthermore, over three fifths of respondents said that the best approach would be for the United States to walk away from agreement.
Some 62 percent said that the U.S. would be better off simply rejecting the deal and keeping current sanctions in place.

Iran supreme leader: Sanctions must be lifted, not suspended
Iran’s supreme leader said Thursday that world powers must lift international sanctions and not merely suspend them as part of a landmark nuclear agreement.
Speaking to a group of clerics, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said “there will be no deal” if the sanctions are not lifted. His remarks were read by a state TV anchorman.
“We insisted that sanctions ought to be lifted, not suspended,” Khamenei said, according to the Iranian Tasnim news agency.
Khamenei said some US officials have spoken of the “suspension” of the sanctions, which he says is unacceptable. He said Iran will only partially comply with its commitments if the sanctions are merely suspended.
Key Iranian Negotiator: Uranium Enrichment Will Not Cease, Even for a Single Day
An Iranian Foreign Ministry official, who was among the Islamic Republic’s chief negotiators with the P5+1, said his country’s uranium enrichment would not stop, even for a single day, Hezbollah-affiliated TV network Al-Manar reported on Wednesday.
Abbas Aragchi, the Iranian Foreign Ministry’s Deputy for Legal and International Affairs,said that Iran was capable, withing the next 15 years, “of reaching 190,000 enrichment units with our sixth and eighth central centrifuge units.”
Aragchi purportedly made his comments in an address to Iran’s Assembly of Experts, during which he also referred to the Joint Comprehensive Plant of Action (JCPOA), asserting that the nuclear deal did not cross any of Iran’s red lines, and emphasizing that the negotiating team had succeeded in lifting economic sanctions — both elements of utmost importance to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.
Iranian Defense Minister: We Will Not Allow IAEA to Inspect Every Nuclear Site
Iran’s defense minister said on Wednesday that his country would not allow the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to visit every site and facility that it desires to inspect, Iran’s semi-official Fars News Agency reported.
Brigadier General Hossein Dehghan made this statement in an interview with the Lebanon-based, pan-Arabist satellite TV network al-Mayadeen.
Dehghan asserted that granting the IAEA permission to inspect any site at will would violate both IAEA regulations and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
These comments come on the heels of Dehghan’s repeated warnings that Iran would never allow any foreign entity access to Iran’s defense and missile capabilities.
Iran Is Already Gloating
Details of the nuclear talks between Iran and the five permanent members of the Security Council plus Germany have been made public thanks to Abbas Araghchi, an Iranian deputy nuclear negotiator - much to Araghchi's dismay. The website of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting, or IRIB, accidentally published the minutes of an off-the-record briefing with Araghchi on Aug. 5. The transcript was removed within hours after Araghchi voiced his anger, but the damage had been done.

The points made by Araghchi strongly validate the considered judgment held by a majority in the U.S. Congress: that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action - the agreement reached between Iran and the P5+1 - is not in the national security interests of the United States and should not be approved. While U.S. President Barack Obama's plan to implement the JCPOA using his own executive authority appears to be succeeding, his plan may yet be undone. Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei may decide that he should not stain his legacy of advancing the Islamic Revolution by endorsing a nuclear deal claimed by the leader of the so-called Great Satan as his signature foreign policy achievement.

Iranian Nuclear Program Certified in its Entirety. Critics of the nuclear deal point out that the stated purpose of negotiations with Iran was to dismantle all or significant parts of Iran's illicit nuclear infrastructure to ensure it would not possess a nuclear weapons capability at any time. Yet the JCPOA requires no dismantling of Iran's nuclear infrastructure and in fact commits the international community to helping Iran develop an industrial-scale nuclear power program, including industrial-scale enrichment. Confirming this is Araghchi's statement that U.S. Secretary of State Kerry agreed not only to give Iran the right to enrich and move its nuclear program forward, but also to grant official recognition of even the commercial and industrial aspects of the program. Araghchi said this means that the Iranian nuclear program has been certified in its entirety.
7 Reasons Why the Iran Deal Takes ‘All Options’ Off the Table
In other words, today, America has the ordnance, the capability and the time to destroy Iranian nuclear facilities without fear of anti-ballistic missiles or nuclear retaliation. It is likely to lack all of these advantages in 10 years.
So much President Obama’s “same options” being “available to any U.S. president in the future.” So much for Secretary Kerry’s claim that U.S. options remain the same for ten years.
President Obama and Secretary Kerry’s flat-earth, rosy assertions about America’s future capacity to deal with an Iran headed for nuclear weapons warrant the Congress to oppose this deal. A future president could well use the moral, political and legal authority of Congressional rejection –– as well as the consequent impediments this will create for other countries lifting their sanctions –– to have a stronger hand in dealing with the nightmare President Obama is bequeathing us.
NATO Allies Making It Easier for Iran to Attack Israel?
Clearly, Iran did not go mad and threaten to hit all NATO installations in Turkey because it wanted 3.5 million Turkish citizens to die from the chemical warhead of a Syrian missile. It went mad and threatened because it viewed the defensive NATO assets in Turkey as a threat to its offensive missile capabilities, which the Patriots could potentially neutralize.
Why, otherwise, would a country feel "threatened" and threaten others with starting a "world war" just because a bunch of defensive systems are deployed in a neighboring country? Iran did so because it views the NATO radar in Turkey as an asset that could counter any missile attack on Israel; and the Patriots as hostile elements because they would protect that radar. In a way, Iran's reaction to the NATO assets in Turkey revealed its intentions to attack.
It could be a total coincidence that the U.S. and Germany (most likely to be followed by Spain) have decided to pull their Patriot batteries and troops from Turkey shortly after agreeing to a nuclear deal with Iran. But if it is a coincidence, it is a very suspicious one. In theory, the Patriot systems were deployed in Turkey in order to protect the NATO ally from missile threats from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime. Right? Right.
Assad's regime is still alive in Damascus and it has the same missile arsenal it had in 2013. Moreover, Turkey's cold war with Assad's Syria is worse than it was in 2013, with Ankara systematically supporting every opposition group and openly declaring that it is pushing for Assad's downfall. Why were Assad's missiles a threat to Turkey two and a half years ago, but are not today?
The Patriot missiles are leaving Turkey. They no longer will "protect Turkish soil."
Apparently, NATO allies believe, although the idea defies logic, that the nuclear deal with Iran will discourage the mullahs in Tehran from attacking Israel.
It looks as if the potential target of NATO heavyweights' decision is more a gesture to Iran than to Turkey.
House to vote on Iran bill next week, GOP says
The US House of Representatives will vote next week on the Iran nuclear deal, Republican leadership said Wednesday, the first congressional step in a process President Barack Obama hopes will uphold his landmark accord.
“Next week the House will consider a resolution of disapproval of the Iran nuclear deal,” House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said in a statement.
“This vote will have an immense impact on our national security as well as the security of our friends and partners around the world,” he added.
The vote had been expected in September, but the timing was not previously known.
Where Democratic senators stand on Iran nuke deal
Republicans who control both chambers of Congress are unanimously opposed to the deal. They need a majority in the House and 60 of 100 votes in the Senate to pass the disapproval resolution.
If it does pass, President Barack Obama has pledged to veto it. At that point, opponents would need to muster two-thirds majorities in both the House and the Senate to override Obama’s veto.
In the Senate, 34 senators — the number required to sustain the president’s veto — have announced they support the deal. Forty-one votes would be required to filibuster the disapproval resolution in the first place and prevent it from passing.
Here’s a breakdown of where the 46 members of the Democratic caucus stand:
Even if Congress fails to block Iran deal, it can still affect implementation
Under current law, the White House must already supply a variety of reports on the Iran accord to Congress, so it would be useful if there was a joint House-Senate panel or some special group to receive and go over them.
For example, the president must report to Congress within 10 days of receiving “credible and accurate” information about a “potentially significant breach or compliance incident by Iran,” and say how that breach is being cured.
In addition, every 90 days, the president must certify that Iran is “transparently, verifiably, and fully implementing the agreement, including all related technical or additional agreements.” The certification must also include that “Iran has not directly supported or carried out an act of terrorism against the United States or a United States person anywhere in the world.”
Every six months, the president must file a broader report covering Iran’s nuclear program and compliance with the accord. Among other items, it must include any “delay by Iran of more than one week in providing inspectors access to facilities, people, and documents in Iran as required by the agreement,” as well as “an assessment of whether any Iranian financial institutions are engaged in money laundering or terrorist finance activities, including names of specific financial institutions if applicable.”
Biden Won’t Answer Question on Iran Self-Inspections in Front of Press
Vice President Joe Biden would not answer a question with media present on Iran nuclear self-inspection during a Thursday roundtable on the nuclear deal.
The question, asked by Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D., Fla.), was apparently about the Parchin military site, where Reuters reported last week that Iran may have built an extension to house nuclear arms testing. The prospect of Iran being allowed to take its own samples at the site and turn them over to international inspectors has drawn intense criticism.
“Debbie just handed me a question about self-inspection,” Biden said. “Everybody talking about Parchin, and are they going to be able to have self-inspection? The answer is it’s not self-inspection, number one, but let me go into that in more detail when the press is not here, OK? Although I can’t go into the classified pieces, I can be more explicit about confusing things, OK?”
Schultz, the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, reportedly blocked a resolution from the DNC to support President Obama’s nuclear deal last week.

Iran Nuclear Deal Sacrifices American Credibility
President Obama himself has argued that American credibility is on the line. He is right. Walking away from a deal American officials helped negotiate would be a blow to credibility. It would be embarrassing. Moscow and Beijing would crow, and European officials would be furious.
The truth is that the United States never needed to be put in this situation. President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry basically played Russian roulette with the Congress and credibility. They deflected criticism about leaks about concessions during negotiations saying they could not comment until the final agreement was reached, and then presented the final agreement as a fait accompli unable to be altered. Kerry and his team arrogantly refused to consult with both regional allies and with political opposition in the United States. There was never any reason why, had an agreement been solid enough, it could not attract widespread regional support and bipartisan Congressional support.
But, there would be worst things for American credibility, and dire warnings about the end of U.S. leverage would be wrong.
Is North Korea Blame Game Future of the Iran Deal?
On October 3, 2002, during a meeting in Pyongyang, Assistant Secretary James Kelly told North Korea’s deputy foreign minister, Kang Sok Ju, that that Washington knew that North Korea had produced highly enriched uranium in violation of the Agreed Framework. Kang admitted as much the following day, and so assistance to North Korea was suspended. Pyongyang responded by announcing withdrawal from the NPT, the expulsion of IAEA monitors, and a restart of the Yongbyon reactor. Bush announced that the United States would no longer be bound by the bilateral Agreed Framework if North Korea were not. “My predecessor, in a good-faith effort, entered into a framework agreement,” Bush explained. “The United States honored its side of the agreement. North Korea didn’t. While we felt the agreement was in force, North Korea was enriching uranium.”
Many proponents of the Agreed Framework and diplomacy were not happy. To jumpstart diplomacy, Deputy Secretary Richard Armitage downplayed allegations of North Korean cheating. He dismissed reports North Korea was test-firing engines, saying that “there is nothing in itself wrong with that.” Armitage’s ham-handed exculpation backfired: North Korea seized upon his report to affirm its own behavior while those invested in North Korea engagement took it as a green light for Bush-bashing.
“Instead of picking up the ball where Bill Clinton dropped it, George W. Bush moved the goalposts when he assumed the presidency in 2001,” Leon Sigal, a former New York Times editorial writer, remarked. Sigal’s blaming of Bush was dishonest on two counts: it was North Korea that unilaterally sought to move the goalposts, and the cessation of fuel oil shipments — which set off the cascade of North Korean defiance—was a decision made multilaterally. And Joel S. Wit, a Clinton-era State Department official, sought to spin North Korea’s actions positively, writing in The New York Times “the fact that [Pyongyang] had confessed to a secret nuclear program is a sign that North Korea may be looking for a way out of a potential crisis.”
Netanyahu to continue vocal opposition, despite Obama gaining enough votes to secure deal
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has argued fiercely against the Iran nuclear deal, will continue to speak out strongly against it, government sources said, even though US President Barack Obama on Wednesday secured the 34th vote needed to sustain a presidential veto.
“The prime minister has a responsibility to speak out against the deal that threatens this country, the region and the world,” one government official said. “And he will continue to do so.”
Despite US Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Maryland) providing Obama with the vote necessary to prevent an override of his veto if Congress votes to turn down the deal, the official said the accord “remains a dangerous deal, and it remains important to continue to point that out.”
“Iranian leaders openly say they will continue their terrorism and aggression, and they will now – with the sanctions relief – have enhanced resources to do so, because the deal will give them billions of dollars,” the official added.
“This issue will continue to engage us all.”
Foreign Ministry: Beating Iran Deal Not a 'Lost Cause'
Although US President Barack Obama has secured the necessary number of votes in Congress to ensure the passage of the Iran nuclear deal, the Democratic Party is still concerned it may lose.
According to Israeli Foreign Ministry Director Dore Gold, there is major fear in the Democratic Party that some senators will change their minds at the last moment or even fail to show up for the vote scheduled next week.
Speaking to Army Radio on Thursday, Gold said that numerous US officials had been in touch with him to downplay the reports Obama had secured the “34th vote" - the number needed to uphold a Presidential veto of a planned congressional resolution against the deal.
While pundits declared the vote a “lost cause” after reports on Wednesday that Maryland Democrat Barbara Mikulski would support the nuclear deal, Gold said that the Ministry has not given up hope.
Rubio Says The Iran Deal Is Only Good For the Next 18 Months
Marco Rubio said that if he is the next president, the Iran nuclear deal is “a done deal for the next 18 months” because he will lift the deal.
Rubio, appearing on “America’s Newsroom” Wednesday argued, “This is not a treaty. There’s nothing about this that’s binding on the next administration, and if I’m the President of the United States, in my first day in office, we will lift what the President is doing.”
Joel Pollak: Iran Deal: The 'Israel Lobby' is Dead-- and Obama Killed It
AIPAC’s loss proves that the so-called “Israel lobby” was never as strong as antisemitic conspiracy theorists said it was. But AIPAC was weakened even further, and deliberately, by the Obama administration, which cultivated a George Soros-funded left-wing alternative called J Street, which promoted appeasement with Iran and was inspired by John J. Mearsheimer and Steven M. Walt’s controversial 2007 book, The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy.
The left-wing cohort of foreign policy professionals infesting the Obama administration, the State Department, and the Democratic constellation of think tanks in Washington takes The Israel Lobby as gospel truth. Now they have slayed their dragon, which turned out to be something of a rubber chicken. They did so with ample help from self-seeking Jewish leaders in major community organizations and within the upper echelons of the Democratic Party.
In terms of domestic politics, the death of the Israel lobby means three things. First, it opens the floodgates to more dramatic anti-Israel policies, which had previously been held in check. Second, it confirms that Israel is a partisan issue, since the Democratic Party has drifted so far left. And third, it marks the eclipse of Jewish political power in the United States, at least in collective terms.
AIPAC bet on influence within the Obama administration. It lost, big.
John Kerry: Israel Will Be Safer Under Iran Nuclear Deal
Secretary Of State John Kerry denounced critics of President Obama’s Iran nuclear deal, insisting it would stop the rogue regime from getting a nuclear weapon.
“The people of Israel will be safer with this deal, and the same is true for the people throughout the region,” Kerry said, vowing that the nuclear deal opposed by Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu would keep a nuclear weapon out of the hands of Iran.
Kerry insisted that the United States was working with friends and allies in the Gulf States to ensure their security, even though he admitted that they were alarmed by Iran’s commitment to acquire nuclear weapons.
“We must and we will respond on both fronts. We will make certain that Iran lives up to its commitments under the nuclear agreement, and we will continue strengthening our security partnerships,” Kerry insisted.
Kerry Promises Israel, Saudis Money In Wake of Iran Nuclear Deal
Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday moved to reassure Congress that Israel and America’s Gulf State allies would be fully taken care of in the wake of the Iran nuclear deal, which Kerry acknowledged would not stop Iran’s support for terrorism, according to a letter sent by the secretary of state to lawmakers.
Just moments after the White House secured enough votes to override a congressional veto of the Iran deal, a letter from Kerry appeared in the inboxes of congressional offices across Capitol Hill.
Kerry admits that, despite the deal, Iran will continue to back terrorist groups across the globe and promises to boost military support and funding to Israel and Gulf states such as Saudi Arabia, according to a copy of the letter obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.
The letter comes in response to concerns among lawmakers, Israel, and other Gulf region allies that the nuclear accord will boost the Islamic Republic’s support for terrorism, while leaving traditional U.S. allies on the defense.
PBS's Gwen Ifill Stands By 'Take that Bibi' Tweet ...
Gwen Ifill, the host of PBS’s Newhour program, defended herself from criticism after taking heat for sending a tweet that many users interpreted as a shot against Israeli Prime Minister Benjain Netanyahu.
Ifill retweeted a message from the State Department’s official pro-Iran deal Twitter account claiming that the recently inked accord would significantly reduce Iran’s ability to produce a nuclear weapon.
“Take that, Bibi,” Ifill wrote in a message sent with the State Department’s tweet.
Multiple users on Twitter quickly pushed back against Ifill’s message, claiming she was unfairly targeting the Israeli prime minister and revealing a pro-Iran bias.
Anti-US billboards still prominent on streets of Tehran
Earlier this week, conservative Iranian website Farda News published a photo of a man painting over the slogan “Death to America 2015,” sprayed on the outer wall of what was once the US embassy in Tehran. The photo was interpreted by some as a new display of goodwill by the ayatollah regime toward the United States following the signing of a nuclear deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on July 14.
But signs disparaging Obama and the United States are still prominent in Tehran, as photographed on September 1.
One giant billboard depicts the American flag’s Stars and Stripes as skulls and falling bombs over the words “Death to America.” The inscription beneath the image quotes Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as saying: “We will not compromise with the US even for one moment.”
Iran to Confiscate Cars of 'Poorly Veiled' Women
Women drivers in Iran's capital could have their cars impounded by police if they are caught driving with a poorly fixed veil or without their heads covered, a police chief said Wednesday, according to AFP.
"If a (female) driver in a car is poorly veiled or has taken her veil off, the vehicle will be seized in accordance with the law," the head of Tehran's traffic police, General Teymour Hosseini, was quoted as saying by the official ISNA news agency.
He added that any woman who had her car seized would need to obtain a court order before getting it back.
Since the Islamic Revolution in 1979, wearing a veil in public has been mandatory for all women in Iran.
But recent decades have seen a loosening of the rules governing female dress and many women in Tehran dress in a way that is far removed from the strict clothing regulations in other observant Muslim countries such as Saudi Arabia.
"Unfortunately, some streets of the capital have come to resemble fashion salons," Iran's judiciary chief Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani said this week, questioning the "tolerance" that has led to "such a situation".
Gunfire from Gaza narrowly misses Israeli kids watching TV at home
Stray bullets apparently fired from a Hamas training camp in the Gaza Strip hit an Israeli home in a kibbutz adjacent to the Palestinian enclave Wednesday evening, causing damage but no injuries.
One of the bullets shattered the window of a home in the Kibbutz Netiv Ha’asara and hit a television while two children, aged 6 and 9, were watching it.
The other hit a wall in the home just north of the Strip.
Their mother and a baby were also at home at the time. No injuries were reported.
Initial reports indicated the two bullets were stray sniper bullets that originated from a Hamas training camp on the other side of the border, the IDF said.
IAF strikes Hamas training site from which bullets struck Israeli homes
The Israel Air Force struck a Hamas facility where training occurs in northern Gaza early on Thursday, in response to the firing of bullets from the site at Israeli homes in the village of Nativ Ha'asara, near the Gazan border.
"The IDF views the Hamas terrorist organization as being exclusively responsible for what occurs in the Gaza Strip, and maintaining quiet in the area," the military said in a statement.
A family Netiv Ha’asara narrowly escaped injury Wednesday when two bullets penetrated their living room.
One bullet shattered a window and lodged in a television, missing two young children by several meters. The bullets damaged the room.
Army sources have indicated they believe that the shots were likely stray fire rather than a deliberate attack on the home.
Navy commandos simulate attack on offshore gas rig
Israeli commandos recently simulated a hypothetical terrorist attack on one of Israel’s vulnerable Mediterranean gas rigs, the IDF told reporters on Wednesday.
The drill, involving the Israel Navy’s elite Flotilla 13, took place approximately one month ago. The exercise involved hostile gunmen taking civilians hostage after commandeering one of the offshore rigs. The naval commandos were instructed to reach the rig and retake it from the gunmen without use of firearms, out of concern that gunfire could set the gas alight and cause the rig to explode.
“The opponent that will scale the rig is not one terrorist wearing a keffiyeh” — a traditional Palestinian headscarf, a navy officer told Haaretz. “It’s going to be someone who understands that this is a strategic asset to the State of Israel.”
Did the IDF Conduct a 'Rescue Mission' in Gaza?
Sources in Gaza claim they witnessed what appeared to be a “rescue” of two families from Gaza, with the IDF ferrying approximately ten Gazan Arabs through the border fence at Khan Yunis in southern Gaza into Israel, a report on news site NRG said.
Once on the Israeli side, the Arabs were quickly ushered into IDF jeeps and driven away.
Among the group were what appeared to be two families - two couples, and a number of children and infants. The families were not under arrest, but appeared to be leaving Gaza voluntarily - and quickly.
The “rescue” was apparently witnessed by Hamas terrorists, who attempted to storm the border fence. IDF forces opened fire on the terrorists as they approached the fence. Islamic Jihad operatives also claimed they witnessed the incident, NRG reported.
Palestinian sources assert there were phone conversations between the families and an Israeli contact prior to the mission.
Police, firefighters are attacked after rescuing Arab family in capital
Moments after saving a Arab family from a fire in Jerusalem’s Isawiya neighborhood on Wednesday afternoon, police and firefighters were attacked by Arab locals throwing rocks.
Firefighters were notified of the blaze in a five-story apartment building in the flashpoint neighborhood on Mount Scopus shortly after 3 p.m., police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said.
“Upon arriving at the scene, firefighters and police spotted a family trapped on the building’s roof attempting to get away from the fire and heavy smoke. They quickly cordoned off the area and rushed into the building to save the family,” Rosenfeld said.
The rescuers, preparing leave, were pelted with rocks by bystanders, he said. Although no one was wounded in the attack, the windshield of one police cruiser was shattered.
PMW: PA libel: Jews planned Al-Aqsa arson
The Palestinian Authority continues to spread the libel that Israel is in the process of destroying the Al-Aqsa Mosque. It recently voiced another lie to prove that the destruction of the Al-Aqsa Mosque has been Israel's goal for decades.
The PA claims that it was a Jew who set fire to the Mosque in 1969, when in fact the fire was ignited by a Christian Australian man. The fire was planned by "Jews of high position" in Israel, goes the PA libel, and not only did Israel plan the fire, but Israel also shut off the water supply, preventing fire fighters from efficiently putting out the fire.
In 2013, Palestinian Media Watch reported on the PA TV documentary that made this false accusation. PA TV chose to rebroadcast it again last month on the anniversary of the fire.
Narrator: "From investigations conducted by the Islamic Council it became clear that there was more than one perpetrator [of the Al-Aqsa Mosque arson in 1969] and that the fire was planned by senior Jews of high position, especially since the roof can only be reached from a wooden spiral staircase located outside the Al-Aqsa building. This proves that careful, premeditated measures were taken to completely destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque. The proof is that the occupation authorities were slow to extinguish [the fire] and that the water supply to the Sanctuary (i.e., the Temple Mount) had been cut off during those hours."[Official PA TV Live, Aug. 21, 2013 and PA TV, Aug. 21, 2015]
PLO Intimidates Media Over Temple Mount Tours
It’s hardly a surprise to find that the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) doesn’t encourage a free press. But the PLO’s latest press release demonstrates a disturbingly blatant attempt to intimidate the media with what it has called an “Advisory to Journalists Visiting the Al-Aqsa Compound“:
It has been brought to the attention of the PLO Negotiations Affairs Department that there is an ongoing attempt by Israeli governmental and non-governmental organizations to organize visits to the sacred Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound, with a focus on foreign media. We hereby urge the foreign press not to accept or participate in tours that are part of Israel’s campaign to change the historical narrative of Occupied East Jerusalem, and particularly its religious sites.
In previous media advisories, the PLO Negotiations Affairs Department issued an advisory concerning the use of the inaccurate term “Temple Mount” to refer to Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound in Jerusalem. The advisory urged “All international media representatives to adhere to international law and correct any other existing terminology used. The Al-Aqsa Mosque compound is not a disputed territory and all other terms, therefore, are null and void”.
By participating in these tours, foreign media is legitimizing and encouraging the daily violations committed by Israeli Occupation Forces against Palestinians, including incitement, hate speech, the denial of freedom of worship at Muslim and Christian holy sites, as well as denial of the presence, identity, and traditions of Palestinian Muslims and Christians in the occupied Palestinian capital.
Australian PM faces Jewish backlash over remarks comparing ISIS to Nazis
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott faced backlash on Thursday from members of the country's Jewish community over remarks he made comparing the Islamic State terror group to the Nazis.
"The Nazis did terrible evil but they had a sufficient sense of shame to try to hide it. These people boast about their evil, this is the extraordinary thing. They act in the way that medieval barbarians acted, only they broadcast it to the world with an effrontery which is hard to credit," Abbott said during an interview with Fairfax radio station 2GB.
Rober Goot, president of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, said it was "injudicious and unfortunate" that the prime minister had suggested that Islamic State "is in some respects worse than the Nazis," reported the Sydney Morning Herald.
According to the report, Goot highlighted that there was a "fundamental difference" between organized terrorist acts and state policy sponsoring systematic genocide.
I apologise for We should be better than Fairfax
Yet again I have to ask, what on earth is up to?
This time it picks up another Twitter attack on Tony Abbott and misrepresents the Prime Minister in its very first paragraph:
TONY Abbott says the Islamic State terror group is worse than the Nazis during World War II.
Abbott said no such thing.
He made only the perfectly true point that the Islamic State, unlike the Nazis, has no shame about its evils and does not attempt to hide them:
The Nazis did terrible evil but they had sufficient sense of shame to try and hide it. These people boast about their evil. This is the extraordinary thing.
They act in the way medieval barbarians acted only they broadcast it to the world with an affrontery that is hard to credit and it just adds a further dimension to this evil.

What sane person could possibly disagree? When did the Nazis advertise its barbarity as the Islamic State does with videos like these?
And todays Darwin award goes to....
Silly Gaza. Didn't you learn anything from Rachel Corrie? Caterpillar bulldozers are dangerous. They aren't toys.
Wedding party in Beit Lahiya mugs for the cameras, on a Caterpillar Bulldozer
If the Palestinians don't boycott Caterpillar, why should anyone?

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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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