Wednesday, September 09, 2015

From Ian:

Ryan Bellerose: Palestinians have become obsessive “tragedy tourists”
Lets get a few things straight. You do not get to claim a genocide when your population has exploded. As someone whose family has gone through one, I am telling you to cut that s*** out, it’s offensive and it’s annoying.
You did not “go through what Native Americans went through.” Nobody forced you to speak an alien language, worship God in an alien manner and steal your sacred places. As a matter of fact THAT’S WHAT YOU DID. You stole sacred places, forced indigenous people to speak Arabic and worship god as Muslims. So seriously cut that out too.
You did not in fact have a civil rights struggle like black people in America. Black people in America didn’t blow up school buses or pizzerias filled with school kids in order to achieve equal rights, and they damn sure didn’t talk endlessly about pushing white people into the sea.
You are not persecuted like gay people, for something that is beyond your control. Nobody throws you off buildings because you love someone you shouldn’t. So again, cut that out, it’s getting old, especially when some of us are well aware that your society not only hates gay people but actively persecutes them. You are the guys throwing them from buildings.
You do not get to keep stealing stories. You stole the identity of what was known as ‘Palestinian’. Before World War II the term meant Jews. But that’s OK, it’s a colonialist term, and I am sure that my Jewish friends don’t want it. They prefer to be called Jews, Hebrews, Israelites or Israelis, so you can take your colonialist garbage and get lost. (h/t Bob Knot)
Caroline Glick: The Republican fall guys
The ayatollahs will ride their nuclear pact with the Great Satan all the way to a nuclear arsenal and regional hegemony, repeating the cycles of brinksmanship, extortion, respite and brinksmanship that they learned from their North Korean teachers.
Obama won’t walk away from his signature foreign policy. He will devote his energies in his remaining time in office to covering up for Iran. That is why he is breaking the law he signed and refusing to hand over the side deals regarding the farcical nature of UN inspections of Iran’s nuclear sites to Congress.
Moreover, after insisting that the deal is the best way to prevent a holocaust or that it is the only way a Jewish mother can protect the homeland of her people, Democratic lawmakers are not going to rush to acknowledge that they are lying. Now that they’ve signed onto the deal, they own it.
Of course, the Iranians are another story. While the Democrats will not abandon the deal no matter what, the Iranians signed the deal in order to abandon it the minute it outlives its usefulness. And that works just fine for the Democrats.
The Democrats know that the Iranians will use any step the Republicans take to try to enforce the deal’s verification regime or condition sanctions relief on Iranian abidance by the deal’s restrictions on its nuclear activities as an excuse to walk away from the deal. They also know the Iranians will remain in the deal as long as it is useful to them.
Since the Iranians intend to hide their nuclear activities, the Democrats assume Tehran will stay in until it is financially and militarily ready to escalate its nuclear activities.
The Democrats believe that timetable will extend well beyond the lifespan of the Obama administration.
Whenever the Iranians leave, they can be depended on to blame US for their decision to vacate their signature. And the Democrats in turn will blame the Republicans for pushing the Iranians over the edge.
You have to give credit to the administration and its Iranian chums. At least they are consistent. They have constructed an agreement that gives them both what they care about most. Iran, as always, wants to dominate the region and develop the means to destroy Israel and its Arab adversaries at will. The administration, as always, wants to blame the Republicans.
Israel and the Arabs understand the game that is being played. It is time for the Republicans to get wise to it.
PMW: Abbas' description of Jewish history as "delusional myths" echoed on PA TV
A narrator on official PA TV stated that the "so-called Temple" is a "myth" and that stories about Jewish history in Jerusalem are "delusions and legends." This historical revision exemplifies the Palestinian Authority's policy of denying Jewish history in Jerusalem and denying the existence of the Temple.
PA TV narrator: "The story of the Temple is nothing but a collection of legends and myths for political reasons. They [Jews] have set Palestine and Jerusalem as their goal, and have used the myths in the service of their declared goals of occupation and imperialism. In the spirit of the delusions and legends, they try to get rid of the Al-Aqsa [Mosque] and establish their so-called 'Temple' - the greatest crime and forgery in history." [Official PA TV, Aug. 1, 2015]
This ideology and the use of such expressions come from the top PA echelons. Palestinian Media Watch documented that PA Chairman Abbas, in a speech to leaders of Muslim countries, defined Jewish history in Jerusalem as a "delusional myth" and claimed that Israel is trying to invent a Jewish history "by brute force":

Poll: Support for Iran Deal Collapses Among Americans, Only 21% Approve
Support for President Obama’s nuclear deal with the regime in Iran has dwindled to just 21% among the American people, according to a new poll released by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center on Tuesday.
The new poll results display that 49% of Americans disapprove of the nuclear accord, while 30% remain without a well-held opinion on the matter.
As the American people continue to absorb the Iran deal’s specifics and its ramifications, they have become less likely to support the agreement.
A mid-July poll taken immediately after President Obama finalized the deal with Tehran showed that 33% approved, while 45% disapproved of the deal, with 22% having no opinion.
As Pew notes: “Over the past six weeks, the share approving of the agreement has fallen 12 percentage points (from 33% to 21%), while disapproval has held fairly steady (45% then, 49% now).”
Additionally, the deal has become unpopular even among Democrats, with only 42% of registered Democrats favoring the diplomatic endeavor with the Islamic Republic, Pew’s results show. That is an 8% drop from July, when 50% of Democrats said they supported the deal.
Republican support for the deal dropped from 13% to 6% in the poll released Tuesday.
'Two-thirds of Americans back Israel's position on Iran deal,' Netanyahu says
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu continues his public campaigning against the Iran nuclear deal.
According to Army Radio, the premier told a closed-door gathering of fellow members of his ruling Likud party that two-thirds of Americans support Israel's position against the Iran nuclear agreement.
"We are waging a very huge struggle," Netanyahu said. "This struggle has led to a situation where two-thirds of American public opinion is with us."
"It's very important for us because these are a dynamic set of circumstances," the premier said. "Having the support of US public opinion will manifest not just this year but in the years to come."
Despite Iran deal, most Israelis say Obama committed to their security
Two-thirds of Israelis still believe US President Barack Obama's administration is committed to Israel's security despite his Iran deal that 72.7 percent of Israeli Jews see as an existential threat to the Jewish state, according to the monthly Peace Index poll of the Israel Democracy Institute and Tel Aviv University, which was released Wednesday.
Asked to what extent they are sure Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is right when he describes the deal as an existential threat to Israel, 42.5% of Jewish respondents said they are sure he is right, 30.2% said they are moderately sure he is right, 18.3% said they were moderately sure he is not right, 5.8% said they were not at all sure he is right, and 3.2% said they did not know or declined to answer.
A very large majority of Israeli Jews said they did not believe Iran would uphold the deal, 78.4%, compared to 15.3% who said they think Iran will uphold the deal and only 1.5% who said they were sure the Islamic Republic would abide by the agreement. The rest said they did not know or declined to answer.
Nevertheless, 27.9% of Israeli Jews said Obama's administration is very committed to Israel's security and 38% said it is moderately committed. Only six percent said the US administration was not committed at all to Israel's security and 26.3% said it was moderately committed. The percentage who said they did know or declined to answer was 1.8%.
JCPA: The Mistaken Rationale behind the Iran Nuclear Deal
The nuclear agreement with the main world powers is set to enable Iran safely, legally, and without economic hardships or changes in its rogue policies, to overcome the main obstacles on its way to possessing a nuclear weapons arsenal and becoming a regional hegemonic power. Regardless of what the deal’s champions say, it appears that the deal’s rationale was to postpone and contain – and not prevent – Iran’s drive for nuclear weapons. This is why the U.S. Administration tried to compare the period the deal postpones nuclear weaponization (under the logic of containment) with the period a military attack would set back the nuclear program. This ignores the very purpose of a military attack – prevention. By endorsing the deal, its supporters actually surrender the most effective tools to convince the Iranians to make concessions and give up their nuclear program, namely the biting sanctions and the credible military threat. A containment policy by definition makes a military option irrelevant.
The claim that after 10-15 years the US will have all options in case Iran resumes its nuclear program is false because the Iranian defense, industrial and nuclear infrastructures in place will make any military reaction futile.
Anne Bayefsky: What Obama doesn't want you (and Congress) to know about his Iran deal
Congress plans to start voting this week on Obama’s Iran deal – minus the facts. As a result, Congressman Mike Pompeo and others are urging the GOP leadership not to proceed with the vote. When it comes to the acquisition of the world’s most dangerous weapon by the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, it should be obvious that what you don’t know can hurt you.
This spring, the GOP leadership in Congress set aside the strong argument that the Iran deal would be a treaty and agreed with the president on one essential condition for implementing its terms. The president would be required to transmit “the agreement” to Congress for review, defined as a long list of items including “side” and “related agreements.” Failure to comply with the duty to transmit would vitiate the president’s authority to waive or provide relief from sanctions.
So why is President Obama refusing to unveil the terms and conditions upon which Congress is poised to vote – and many Democrats are prepared to support – sight unseen?
The answer is to be found in the devious and disturbing role being played by the U.N. Security Council and the Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to drag the Iran deal across the finish line.
'Zionist regime will cease to exist in 25 years,' Khamenei vows
The remarks by Khamenei are a continuation of the regime's belligerent rhetoric in the weeks that followed the consummation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
"After negotiations, in the Zionist regime they said they had no more concern about Iran for the next 25 years," Khamenei tweeted.
"Firstly, you will not see the next 25 years," he tweeted, addressing Israel. "God willing, there will be nothing of the Zionist regime by the next 25 years."
"Secondly, until then, struggling, heroic, and jihadi morale will leave no moment of serenity for Zionists," Khamenei tweeted.
"This Much" - Iran Nuclear Deal

Laundering Iran's Nukes
What remains unknown is why President Obama and most of his party want a nuclear Iran.
The goals of the diplomatic process have changed tremendously from the beginning, when President Obama regularly claimed that an Iranian nuclear weapon is "unacceptable," and that only his unique brand of personal diplomacy could prevent it. Rather than "prevent" or "block" Iran from acquiring a nuclear bomb, as the president and Secretary of State Kerry falsely claim, the deal assures Iran of legally acquiring one.
By weaponizing its nuclear program, Iran has violated every agreement it has signed. Iran's illegal nuclear weapons program is being cleansed and validated at the behest of the Obama administration. These terms make the JCPOA deal unknowable. Signing it is not an act of diplomacy; it is surrender.
There is only one flaw in the JCPOA laundering scheme. In a true money-laundering scheme that involves an outlaw and a legitimate party, the money launderer receives a fee for the service provided; in this trade, the U.S. gets nothing from the JCPOA. The U.S. does not even get back one of the Americans held hostage by Iran.
Report: Iran Parliament Chief Says US Interpretation of Iran Deal is ‘Unacceptable’
Ali Larijani, Iran’s Parliament speaker, rejected the U.S. reading of the nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, particularly regarding sanctions, NPR reported on Wednesday.
Speaking to NPR during a trip to New York, Larijani warned that if the U.S. imposed new sanctions on Iran, the country would reconsider its commitments to the nuclear deal.
“If something … happens in the U.S. Congress, or if there are new types of sanctions on us, then they should not expect us to go — to implement. Or if the Americans don’t stay true to their obligations on their part, they shouldn’t expect us to do it,” said Larijani, a conservative politician who has been speaker of the Majlis or parliament since 2008.
Larijani claimed that his country views its concessions — such as sealing off the heavy water reactor at the Arak complex — as permanent, and worried that the U.S. did not see its own commitment to remove sanctions in the same light.
The Obama administration contends that the deal gives the U.S. the authority to slap back international sanctions on Iran if it cheats. The president said the U.S. will also be in a better position to launch military strikes, as a last resort, against Iran in the event it dashes for nuclear weapons.
Obama and Kerry: The ‘Lemon’-Car Salesmen
However, it is clear that businesses already underway with Iran will not be curtailed, and that funds that were released will not be returned.
But, Kerry goes on to reassure us, “Our intelligence community and our Energy Department, which manages our nuclear program and our nuclear weapons, both agree Iran could never get away with such a deception.” This, despite the fact that Iran has gotten away with such deceptions all along, and that the little-known side agreements, such as providing its own samples for inspection, gives Iran license to develop nuclear weapons. The rest of what is under the hood of the Iran agreement is unknown. Still, the Obama administration, like a lemon-car dealership, is pressuring Congress to approve the deal.
Investing in a lemon-car dealership and selling cars that could endanger people’s lives is punishable by law. Not so when the corrupt Obama administration deliberately violates national laws and rewards the terrorist regime of Iran with some $150 billion to help it corner the nuclear weapons and global terrorism market.
Americans should use their electoral power to warn their elected representatives in Congress that unless they vote against this illegal and immoral agreement, they will vote to banish them from office for failing to protect the American people and interests at home and abroad.
Clinton supports Iran deal, but vows 'vigor and vigilance' in enforcing it
Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton vowed on Wednesday not to shrink from military action against Iran if it tries to obtain atomic weapons and threatened to impose penalties on Tehran for even for small violations of its nuclear deal with world powers.
In a speech to a Washington think tank, the former secretary of state reiterated her support for the accord but cautioned that she would take an approach of "distrust and verify" toward Iran if she won the November, 2016 presidential election.
"As president, I will take whatever actions are necessary to protect the United States and our allies. I will not hesitate to take military action if Iran attempts to obtain a nuclear weapon," she said.
Clinton expects the Islamic Republic will try "to see how far they can bend the rules" of the agreement it reached in July with the United States and other major nations including Russia and China.
"I'll hold the line against Iranian noncompliance. That means penalties even for small violations," she said.
HRC Top Aide: Hillary Paved Go-Ahead on Iranian Enrichment
At that time both Clinton and her then-boss, U.S. President Barack Obama, as well as the United Nations Security Council, were completely opposed to allowing Iran to enrich uranium at all as any part of a deal.
By the time Clinton left office, after months of meetings on this topic in Washington, she had concluded that the mullahs would be permitted to maintain at least some capacity to produce nuclear fuel, according to Sullivan, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Sullivan, who now serves as a senior Clinton campaign adviser, was sent by Clinton to Oman to negotiate with Iranian representatives. Sullivan was 35 years old at the time, which was a concern to the Iranians.
Without uranium enrichment rights, the mullahs would not give the “diplomatic track” any traction. So the U.S. caved on that most critical component.
“Mrs. Clinton hated the idea of allowing Iran that capacity, said her aides, but became open to a change in policy if Tehran agreed to serious restrictions on its nuclear program,” the Wall Street Journal reported, but “she hadn’t committed to the shift or to enrichment on a large scale, they said.”
The Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty forbade Iran from having any operational centrifuges. Under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action ultimately negotiated by the U.S. and its P5+1 partners, Iran would be permitted to maintain 5,000 centrifuges. And once the deal sunsets, in ten years, Iran will be able to expand from this number to full industrial scale. Sullivan is credited with being one of the main architects of the deal.
Anti-Iran deal rally to showcase unlikely Trump-Cruz alliance
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s cozy relationship with billionaire businessman Donald Trump is drawing new attention as the Republican presidential contenders prepare to headline a Capitol Hill rally against the Iran nuclear deal.
At Cruz’s invitation, Trump will appear with the Texas senator at a Wednesday event organized by ultraconservative tea party leaders and pro-Israel groups protesting the proposed nuclear agreement with Iran. It’s the latest example of Cruz warming to the former reality television star, despite their competition for the same group of anti-establishment conservatives.
“An awful lot of presidential candidates have gone out of their way to take a stick to Donald Trump,” Cruz told The Associated Press in a recent interview. “I am not one of them.”
Instead, Cruz tapped Trump to share the stage with him Wednesday for the Washington rally that is also expected to feature former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore, conservative broadcast personality Glen Beck and several Republican members of Congress. The event is set to begin at 1 p.m. (1700 GMT). Organizers would not predict how many protesters might attend, but they’re expecting a rowdy atmosphere outside the Capitol as Congress debates the Iran deal inside.
Iran divestiture measures pushed in battleground states
A group led by past and current Republican officeholders has launched an effort in some presidential battleground states to place measures on the 2016 ballot that seek to prohibit public investments in certain companies doing business in Iran.
The Defund Iran initiative announced Tuesday is initially targeting Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Missouri and Ohio, but organizers say they hope to pursue similar measures in as many as half the states.
The initiative comes as the Republican-led Congress appears increasingly unlikely to be able to rally enough Democrats to block the Iran deal backed by President Barack Obama’s administration. It would ease sanctions on the country in exchange for dismantling much of its nuclear weapons program for the next decade.
About 30 states already have Iran-divestiture laws or policies. Some of those have gradually loosened since being adopted about decade ago.
Retired US General Says JCPOA Reads Like High School Paper
A former senior U.S. military man said the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) reads like a high school paper, Medium reported on Tuesday.
“People should read the deal; it’s only an hour and a half read. It’s poorly written and it’s striking how poorly constructed it is  —  it feels like a high school paper,” Lieutenant General Michael “Mike” Flynn, former Defense Intelligence Agency director, told his interviewer, Jason Criss Howk, a former colleague with whom he had worked in Kabul and Washington D.C.
Flynn said, “A large portion of it is the annex that releases pressure from a long list of state sponsors of terrorism, narcotics cartels, and illegal market owners. We are letting off some very ruthless people.”
Flynn had prefaced this remark by saying that the deal shows that the U.S. and the rest of the P5+1 were “too anxious to get any deal.”
“We gave up all our leverage,” he said. “We got beat by a nation of expert negotiators who got everything they wanted and needed from the deal for only making promises of allowing future observations.”
Manchin Becomes 58th Senator To Oppose Iran Nuclear Deal
Sen. Joe Manchin (D -W.Va.) announced his opposition to the nuclear deal with Iran today, becoming the 58th senator and fourth Democrat to do so. West Virginia Public Broadcasting reported:
“Whenever I am able, I will choose diplomacy over war because the stakes are so high for West Virginia, which has one of the highest rates of military service in the nation. But as I struggled with this decision, I could not ignore the fact that Iran, the country that will benefit most from sanctions being lifted, refuses to change its 36-year history of sponsoring terrorism,” Manchin said.
Manchin went on to say the deal had to be about more than preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon for the next 10-15 years. It had to address Iran’s terrorist actions. He says without addressing those issues it would be rewarding Iran for 36 years of “deplorable behavior.”
“The continued actions by Iran and its recent activities with Russia have proven to me that when we catch Iran violating the agreement, and I believe we will, I have grave doubts that we will have unified, committed partners willing to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon,” Manchin said.
Iran Deal Isn’t Legally Valid But That Won’t Stop Democrats
Pompeo and Rivkin are right. The terms of the Iran Nuclear Review Act of 2015 sponsored by Senators Bob Corker and Ben Cardin clearly stated that the entire deal, including any “side agreements, implementing materials, documents, and guidance, technical or other understandings, and any related agreements, whether entered into or implemented prior to the agreement or to be entered into or implemented in the future” must be submitted to Congress. But the president has not done so. The Iran-IAEA agreement dealing with how the UN watchdog agency will get information about Iran’s past work on possible military dimensions (PMD) of their nuclear program has been kept secret.
This is significant for three reasons.
The first is that without the knowledge of PMD work there is no way of knowing how close the Iranians are to having a bomb mechanism ready. That makes the administration’s estimates of Iran’s “breakout” time to a weapon are pure speculation rather than the precise estimates that they claim them to be. If that is so, then confidence in the West’s ability to react to Iranian cheating or to an Iran break out after the deal expires is completely unfounded.
The second is that we know that published reports of the text of this side deal show it to be a dangerous act of appeasement that does not allow for UN inspectors to be on the site. In private briefings given to some members of Congress, the administration has claimed that this does not amount to allowing Iran to inspect itself. But in the absence of actual proof, that assertion cannot be taken at face value.
Third, without full disclosure of the side deal, any implementation of the deal by the administration is simply illegal, rendering the entire drama of the debate in the House and Senate and the possible filibuster by the Democrats pointless.
It should be noted that the entire approval process set up for the deal is not in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution that require any foreign treaty to get a two-thirds positive vote in the Senate in order to be legal. The Corker-Cardin bill is the product of a weak Republican leadership that let themselves be bluffed into passing a bill that turned the approval process upside down. The president, who preferred not to let Congress have any say, was pleased with a bill that let him sneak the deal through with only 34 Senate votes rather than 67.
Wasserman-Schultz’s Heartless Iran Partisanship
At this point, the announcements from various members of the House and Senate about whether they will vote for the Iran nuclear deal are irrelevant to the outcome. We already know that President Obama has enough votes to sustain a veto of a motion of disapproval. Nevertheless, the various statements of prominent Democrats who have heretofore prided themselves on being supporters of Israel deserve scrutiny. As I noted last week, New Jersey Senator Cory Booker twisted himself into a pretzel with feats of illogic and cognitive dissonance in order to justify a vote for a deal that he admitted failed to achieve the goal of ending the Iranian nuclear threat. But as dismal as the performance was, it pales besides the histrionics of Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz. The odds that the chairman of the Democratic National Committee would ever publicly challenge the president on an issue that he has labeled as his foreign policy legacy were slim and none. But Wasserman-Schultz, who has an eye on her own political future, needed to balance her knee-jerk partisan loyalty against the need to convince pro-Israel voters and donors that she hadn’t betrayed them. But her tears, her talk of her “Jewish heart” and her faith in President Obama’s concern for Israel wasn’t enough to distract observers from the contradictions at the heart of her argument.
Wasserman-Schultz says she underwent a rigorous process of review of the deal. She even claims to have told the administration that she wouldn’t vote for the deal if the Associated Press scoop about Iran being allowed to self-inspect its Parchin site were true. But here as with so much of the administration’s Iran talking points, we’re given smoke and mirrors. Though she doesn’t claim the published text of the IAEA-Iran side agreement was inaccurate, the DNC chair says she learned in a classified briefing that an “intricate process” would let the UN monitor the place where Iran has done military nuclear research. But what can that mean if IAEA inspectors are not allowed in?
Like Booker and many other Democrats succumbing to pressure, Wasserman-Schultz admits the agreement isn’t “perfect” and is “flawed.” She acknowledges that it doesn’t halt Iranian nuclear research or remove its advanced nuclear infrastructure that will enable it to race to a bomb almost immediately once the deal expires. She says she also knows Iran will use the vast sums it gets as a reward from the administration for signing this deal for terrorism.
NIAC's Trita Parsi Slams AIPAC After Garnering Support for Iran Deal
Trita Parsi, the founder and president of pro-Iranian regime lobbyist group NIAC (National Iranian American Council), celebrated the fact that three more liberal, Democratic senators—two of whom are Jewish—threw their support behind President Barack Obama’s fatally flawed nuclear Iran Deal by taking a jab at pro-Israel lobbyist organization AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) over his personal Facebook page:
The defeat and humiliation of AIPAC is now undeniable. They chose war over peace, Netanyahu over Obama and bullying over reason.
Parsi has made no secret of his disdain for AIPAC, almost making it his mission to discredit them over their support for the State of Israel. Parsi has openly been referred to as “someone who does a lot of leg-work for the Iranian regime.” Reporter Eli Lake also broke down the close, years-long relationship between Parsi and Iranian Foreign Minister and the regime’s lead nuclear negotiator Javad Zarif. Parsi posted his personal statement in response to his perceived victory over AIPAC on Twitter.
Israel to Help Saudis Build Nuclear Facility? (satire)
In the wake of the US-led Iran nuclear deal, it is rumored that the Saudis are ‘taking necessary steps to counter a nuclear Iran’.
Speaking with The Mideast Beast, a Saudi Government spokesmen stated, “At first we were shocked; in fact, all of Riyadh could hear the King screaming, ‘A nuclear Iran? Are you f#%king kidding me?’ It actually sounds much scarier in Arabic. We managed to calm him down once we explained our plan. Look, we’re basically in a ‘Cold War’ with these Shiites and there’s no way in Allah’s butthole that we’re about to allow Iran to one-up us. So we’ve approached the Jews because of their ‘policy of nuclear ambiguity’. We know they’ve got one hiding behind one of those rocks somewhere. Those guys just love hiding behind rocks… Leave it to the Zionist dogs to somehow keep up that show for over 40 years.”
Israeli officials have reacted with unexpected enthusiasm. “Diplomatic and military ties with The Kingdom? We’re on that shit like white on rice…or some other befitting Middle Eastern metaphor. Plus they offered us a killer deal on oil imports in return and, well, since when do Jews turn down discounts? Plus I’ve been dying to see Mecca and Medina. Did you know that Muhammad used to pray towards Jerusalem? Shit! Please don’t print that.”
Arch-terrorists Kuntar, Deif put on US blacklist
The Obama administration is placing four members of the radical Hamas and Hezbollah groups on a terrorism blacklist that subjects them to US sanctions.
The State Department announced Tuesday that Hezbollah spokesman Samir Kuntar along with Hamas military leaders Yahya Sinwar, Ruhi Mushtaha, and Muhammad Deif, had been added to the specially designated global terrorists list. The move will freeze any assets they may have in US jurisdictions and bans Americans from doing business with them.
Three of the four had been previously arrested by Israel for attacks on Israelis but were later released in prisoner exchanges, including the 2011 swap that led to the release by Hamas of kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.
Two Israeli women narrowly escape injury in West Bank terror shooting
A Palestinian gunman opened fire on an Israeli vehicle near Tapuah Junction, south of the West Bank town of Nablus in a terrorist shooting attack early Wednesday morning.
The two women inside the vehicle were nurses on their way to work, when bullets struck and penetrated their vehicle without causing injury. They were from the nearby settlements of Yitzhar and Elon Moreh.
The driver said that she had just picked up her friend when they heard a loud explosion and it felt as if stones had hit the vehicle.
“I thought it was a stone,” said the driver, but her friend put her hand on her back and said that it hurt. As they sped to Tapuah Junction where they met security forces, they understood that the car had been hit by bullets and not stones.
”Army units have arrived in the area and begun searching the sector,” an IDF spokeswoman said.
Arabs Attack Two Buses En Route to Jerusalem
Two buses traveling from Ma'ale Adumim to Jerusalem on Route 417 were attacked by Arab terrorists on Tuesday night.
None of the occupants were injured, though two window panes were damaged. Police estimated the shattered windows had been caused by either rocks or marbles.
Security forces were in the area searching for suspects and directing traffic on the road. Extensive searches yielded the discovery of a cluster of marbles apparently used by the assailants.
Last week, an Israeli Jew was lightly injured during a shooting attack at Jit Junction in Samaria.
The terrorists fired at his car from their own vehicle before fleeing in the direction of the Gilead axis road.
The driver, 46, arrived at the entrance of Kedumim lightly wounded. Ephraim Brigade medics provided him with initial treatment before a Magen David Adom team called to the scene took him to Meir Hospital in Kfar Saba.
Shelley Dadon murderer handed life sentence
The Nazareth District Court handed a life sentence to taxi driver Yousef Hussein Halifa on Wednesday and fined him NIS 258,000 (about $65,800) over the murder of Afula resident Shelley Dadon last year in a high-profile case.
In July 2014, the state’s attorney filed charges against Halifa, 37, after he admitted to driving Dadon, 20, on May 1 of that year to the Migdal Haemek industrial center, where she was headed for a job interview, and later stabbing her to death.
Halifa’s attorney, however, later claimed that police investigators had unlawfully and forcibly extracted from the driver a confession to the killing.
Dadon’s murder was deemed by police to have likely been nationalistically motivated. However, the indictment made no mention of motive. Dadon’s parents have insisted that the attack was nationalistically motivated, and called on the police to publicly declare it as such.
Ya’alon outlaws Islamic groups who abuse visitors on Temple Mount
Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon on Wednesday declared as “unlawful organizations” two Islamic Movement groups who harass Jewish visitors to the Temple Mount, rendering membership or financing of the groups illegal.
The move came in response to an appeal by Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan last month, following an increase in verbal and physical violence by activists from the Murabitun and Murabitat groups, composed of men and women respectively, against religious Jews visiting the holiest site in Jewish tradition, where the first and second Temples once stood.
The groups were set up by the more extreme northern branch of the Islamic Movement, and, according to Israel’s Haaretz daily, the organization provides regular transport to the Mount from Arab communities in central Israel, the Galilee and the Negev.
“The activity of Murabitun and Murabitat is a central cause of tension and violence on Temple Mount specifically and in Jerusalem more generally,” said a statement issued Wednesday by Ya’alon’s office. “It is inflammatory and dangerous activity against tourists, visitors and worshipers at the site, leading to violence and potentially causing loss of life.”
4 years to the day since attack, Israel reopens Cairo embassy
Exactly four years after it was overrun by Egyptian protesters, Israel’s embassy in Cairo has reopened, the Foreign Ministry announced Wednesday.
The ministry’s director-general, Dore Gold, was in the Egyptian capital Wednesday to mark what the ministry called the “festive occasion.”
Also on hand were Israel’s ambassador to Egypt Haim Koren and other Israeli diplomats, Egyptian officials, and the American ambassador. Koren has been stationed in Egypt since May 2014, working at an unofficial location.
Speaking at the event, Gold said that under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi, the two countries had succeeded in fending off threats and are now working toward “prosperity” and “stability” in the Middle East.
During the ceremony, Gold affixed a mezuzah on the embassy doorpost. The event concluded with a rendition of Hatikvah and Egypt’s national anthem.
Obsessing About Rare Jewish Terrorists While Ignoring Routine Palestinian Attacks
More than five weeks after the firebombing of an Arab home in the West Bank village of Duma, Israeli authorities have not yet announced the capture of the perpetrators. But the assumption on the part of those investigating the incident remains that the crime, in which an infant and its parents were murdered, was the responsibility of Jewish settler terrorists carrying out a “price tag” attack. The incident rightly provoked condemnation and soul-searching throughout the Jewish world. But my own call for zero tolerance for both Jewish and Arab terrorism in the Middle East fell largely on deaf ears. Since then, we have heard a great deal about the fault of those who tolerate Jewish violence but little about the Arab variety. This is important because the obsession with Jewish terror generally ignores two key points. One is that authenticated incidents of Jewish terrorism are quite rare and are rejected even by the overwhelming majority of the Jews who live in the West Bank. The second is that as regrettable these attacks are, virtually every day there are attacks on Jews in Jerusalem and the West Bank that are generally ignored by the same media outlets that continue to devote attention to what happened at Duma.
The most recent prominent example of such a distortion came in the New York Times Sunday Review in which author Sara Yael Hirschhorn resurrected the shades of Yitzhak Rabin and 1994 Hebron massacre perpetrator Baruch Goldstein to rehearse a familiar diatribe against extremist American Jews who immigrate to the West Bank. If Hirschhorn were to concentrate her fire on those who actually carry out such attacks and those who publicly rationalize them, she’d be on firm ground. But her problem is not so much with the terrorists as with the broader population of Jews living in the territories and Jerusalem. She claims that neither this population of several hundred thousand nor American Jewish supporters of Israel have properly condemned the crimes. She asserts that until they do, it’s hypocritical of Jews to ask Palestinians to condemn their terrorists.
This is an absurd distortion of the truth and evidence again that the fact checkers at the Times have, as Michael Oren discussed in his book Ally, a different standard for those who attack Israel than for those who defend it. What happened at Duma was widely condemned even by right-wing Jews and the reaction from Israel’s government — which is always depicted in the international press as “right wing” — was far from passive. They invoked the same tough measures against accused Palestinian terrorists, included holding suspects without charges, against suspected right-wing extremists.
Most E. Jerusalem Arabs Support Car Terror but Want Citizenship
Fifty-two percent of the Arabs in East Jerusalem prefer Israeli citizenship, while 45% would rather be citizens in a Palestinian state. In a similar poll carried out four years ago, only 40% of those surveyed said that they would rather be Israeli citizens.
In a lecture at the Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies Tuesday, Pollock said that the reason many Arabs are interested in Israeli citizenship is that it involves benefits in the areas of health care, pensions and National Insurance stipends.
East Jerusalem Arabs have resident status in Israel, which includes all citizens' rights except the right to vote.
The preference for Israeli citizenship does not indicate any love for the Jewish state or its majority population, however. The research found that 61% of East Jerusalem residents support “armed struggle” against Israel and the use of cars to run over Jews, and most of them identify with Hamas, and not the Fatah or the Palestinian Authority.
On the other hand, 70% of East Jerusalem Arabs support a two state solution and “recognize the Jewish people's right to a state,” as opposed to just 13% of Arabs in Judea and Samaria and 11% of those in Gaza. Forty percent recognize that the Jews “have some rights to the land,” whereas the percentage of Arabs in Judea, Samaria and Gaza who support this notion is close to zero.

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