Monday, September 21, 2015

From Ian:

Dr. Mordechai Kedar: Solving the Middle East's Problems
The seething mass of problems that plague the Middle East have destroyed the region's' social, economic, political and normative infrastructure, leading to the waves of emigration to Europe that we are now witnessing. During the twentieth century, Europe tried to solve the myriad cultural problems that beset the Middle East by creating the Modern Arab State, cloning the Nation-State it had invented and that suited Europe's cultural needs. The European-style Modern Arab State is a colossal failure, because the Arab population has a Middle Eastern culture, with problems that Europe knows nothing about – tribalism on the one hand, and violence, extremism and a lack of national consciousness on the other.
A striking example of an egregiously mistaken belief held by the West is the naïve and unfounded faith that democracy can flourish in the Middle East. Western democracy is based on a social order stemming from European culture: the belief in equality for all religions and ethnic groups, women's liberation, minority rights and freedom of expression and thought. Add to that the right to choose alternative lifestyles, along with freedom of religion and from religion, a ban on violence and free elections and you have a list that is almost totally foreign to the Middle East. Most of these freedoms are opposed to the spirit of Islam or to tribal culture, but Middle Eastern societies hold "free" elections to create the impression that they have become democracies, although they have not adopted any of the other characteristics of a democracy. Elections are an easily adopted mechanism, but the other elements of democracy are substantive and are therefore difficult, or impossible, to embed in the Middle East.
Today Europe is being punished by a wave of refugees for the sins it committed in the Middle East, those it perpetrated on purpose while taking advantage of the Arab rulers' dependency on the West, as well as those it committed unintentionally.
During this period of soul-searching it is important that the West internalize the reasons behind the troubles that have fallen upon the Middle East. It can then deal with them properly, put aside its own interests, and find solutions that can work in the region – starting with the dismantling of the existing, non-legitimate states and continuing with the establishment of emirates with homogeneous populations on the ruins of those failed states. The Gulf Emirates, with the exception of Bahrain, serve as the model of a type of regime that suits the cultural characteristics of the area and it is imperative that they become the model that is implemented when attempting to solve the problems of the Middle East.
Best wishes for a happy new year.
Poll: Majority of Palestinians want Abbas to resign, no longer support two-state solution
More than half of Palestinians no longer support a two-state solution to the conflict with Israel, a survey released on Monday showed, rejecting the goal that has underpinned four decades of international diplomacy.
The poll by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, a leading research group in the Palestinian territories, found that 51 percent of Palestinians oppose the two-state solution while 48 percent support it.
The figures were down from 51 percent support and 48 percent opposition three months ago. The survey was carried out on 1,270 people in the occupied West Bank and in Gaza from Sept. 17-19.
The two-state solution - an independent Palestine existing side-by-side with Israel - has been the broad objective of negotiations since the mid-1970s and the overriding focus of U.S.-led diplomacy for the past 20 years.
Arab push to pressurise Israel thwarted at U.N. nuclear watchdog
An Arab bid to pressurise Israel over its assumed nuclear arsenal failed on Thursday after Washington and other powers united to reject it at the U.N. atomic watchdog's annual gathering.
The extent of the rejection - with a larger number of 'no's than a similar vote last year - will reassure Israel, whose relationship with the United States and other traditional allies has been strained by their support for a nuclear settlement with its enemy Iran.
The Israeli Prime Minister's office described the rejection of the motion - which called on Israel to join a global anti-nuclear weapons pact - as a "great victory" for its diplomatic efforts.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he had told world leaders before the vote: "There is no room for a debate of this sort while the main problem in the Middle East is Iran's attempts to arm itself with nuclear weapons and its clear declarations of its intention to destroy the state of Israel."
Nineteen predominantly Arab states wanted the International Atomic Energy Agency's member states to express concern over Israel's nuclear capabilities, call on it to join the 1970 nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and have the agency regularly report on Israel's nuclear programme.
Eugene Kontorovich: Legislative history and Congress’s increasingly strong case vs. sanctions relief
In this post, I will discuss how the legislative history of the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015 adds significant support to arguments that the President has not complied with its terms, and that sanctions on Iran cannot be suspended until he does. I will also show how a provision of the statute previously not discussed in this context adds further support to the view that the so called “side deal” with the IAEA is part of the “deal.”
Congressional Standing
The legislative history provides some support to my characterization of the constitutional nature of the injury suffered by Congress – nullification of their ability to vote. As Rep. Sherman explained about the bill: “this bill gives us the chance to have the vote.” Precluding that chance sounds like “vote nullification” as required by the Supreme Court for legislative standing.



Iran nuclear deal is done, but Congress isn’t finished
If the IAEA finds that Iran has complied with key nuclear commitments, then sanctions imposed by the U.S., United Nations and Europe on Iran’s energy, financial, shipping, auto and other sectors are to be suspended.
“This so-called ‘Implementation Day’ won’t come for six to 12 months,” said Mark Dubowitz, a sanctions expert and an opponent of the deal with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a Washington-based policy institute.
One idea being discussed in Congress calls for shoring up oversight of Iran’s compliance. Another measure would reauthorize the Iran Sanctions Act. The law was passed in 1996 to pressure foreign companies not to invest in Iran’s oil and gas industries; it has since been expanded.
Other legislation being weighed would strengthen security for Israel, which Iran has threatened to destroy, and for U.S. allies in the Persian Gulf worried about Iran gaining influence in the Mideast as a result of the deal.
“Although the congressional review period may be over, now the real work begins,” Democratic Sen. Chris Coons said in a speech Thursday at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
Coons said preventing and deterring Iran from cheating must be a priority and even “marginal cheating and ambiguous evasions of the deal” must be met with a heavy club. “Iran must not be left with any doubt that it will feel the pain of sanctions from the entire global community the moment it violates the agreement,” he said.
He also wants the U.S. to improve Israel’s ability to strike Iranian targets; ensure Israel’s access to ordnance and aircraft needed to deter an Iranian attack; and provide for the sale of additional F-35 stealth fighter jets, plus more funding for Israel’s array of anti-rocket and missile defense systems.
Congressman Introduces Bill Demanding Iran Pay Terror Victims Before Getting Sanctions Relief
Over the past 15 years, the government of Iran has been found liable in American courts for more than $40 billion in restitution to victims of terror attacks conducted by groups it sponsors. A bill introduced to the House of Representatives last week would mandate that Iran pay that money to victims before it receives any sanctions relief under the nuclear deal.
The Justice for Victims of Iranian Terrorism Act, H.R. 3457, prohibits the President from waiving sanctions or “refrain[ing] from applying” sanctions pursuant to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action until Iran pays the judgments it owes. The President must certify to Congress that the Government of Iran has paid all its judgments.
“Iran should not get a red cent in U.S. sanctions relief until it has paid its victims what they are owed,” said Meehan. “I oppose the Iran deal, but surely we can all agree that Iran should not reap any benefits from the U.S. until it has compensated the families of those whose lives were taken by Iranian terrorism.”
The Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) as amended gives U.S. victims of state-sponsored terrorism the ability to bring suit in U.S. courts and collect damages from those states.
IAEA satisfied with samples from Parchin drawn by Iran
The chief of the UN nuclear agency insisted Monday that a probe of a suspected nuclear weapons research site in Iran does meet strict agency standards, while acknowledging that Iranian experts provided samples from the site for analysis.
Such sampling is usually done by the International Atomic Energy Agency’s own experts. But IAEA chief Yukiya Amano told reporters that Iranians carried out that part of the probe at Parchin, where the agency suspects that explosive triggers for nuclear weapons might have been tested.
The samples, on which no details were given, were taken under “established procedures,” Amano said, noting that “significant progress” was being made in its long-running probe that Iran had sought to develop nuclear weapons in the past.
The arrangement was first revealed in confidential draft agreement between the sides seen last month by The Associated Press. The draft said that Iranian experts, monitored by video and still cameras, would gather environmental samples at the site and hand them over to the agency for analysis.
Experts urge release of details of IAEA inspection at Iran site
Several nuclear security experts are urging the United Nations nuclear watchdog and world powers to release details of how a sensitive Iranian military site will be inspected as part of a landmark nuclear deal reached in July.
The experts, with long experience in international weapons inspections, said the failure to disclose the details was damaging the credibility of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), a view that is rejected by the agency itself, the United States government and another prominent non-proliferation expert.
The confidential plan for the Parchin site has led to differing reports on how it will be carried out, with some critics of the U.S. administration saying Iran had been given too much leeway to conduct its own inspections, including taking samples.
The inspections are needed to resolve questions about whether Iran did research in the past at Parchin related to building a nuclear weapon.
David Albright, head of the Institute for Science and International Security in Washington, expressed unease about the lack of public details on the arrangement.
WSJ Editorial: White House Should Release Bin Laden Letters Showing Iran-Al Qaeda Alliance
The Obama administration should release all of the papers found at Osama Bin Laden’s complex that expose the ongoing ties between Iran and al-Qaeda, The Wall Street Journal urged in an editorial Tuesday.
The editorial noted that former Vice President Dick Cheney gave a speech last week in which he quoted Gen. Michael Flynn, the former chief of the Defense Intelligence Agency, as saying that the papers included “letters about Iran’s role, influence and acknowledgment of enabling al-Qaeda operatives to pass through Iran as long as al-Qaeda did its dirty work against the Americans in Iraq and Afghanistan.” Flynn described the contents of the papers as “very telling” and said that Congress should seek the complete collection.
The editorial cited an example from one of the papers that has been made public.
In a memo to bin Laden, an al Qaeda operative talks about another who is ready to travel:
“The destination, in principle, is Iran, and he has with him 6 to 8 brothers that he chose. I told him we are waiting for final complete confirmation from you to move, and agree on this destination (Iran). His plan is: stay around three months in Iran to train the brothers there then start moving them and distributing them in the world for their missions and specialties.”
Boosted by nuke deal, Iran ups funding to Hezbollah, Hamas
Since the deal was signed, Iran has significantly increased its financial support for two of the largest terror groups in the region that have become political players, Hamas and Hezbollah. In the years before the deal was signed, the crippling sanctions limited this support, which had significantly diminished along with Iran’s economy. But Tehran’s belief that tens, or hundreds, of billions of dollars will flow into the country in the coming years as a result of sanctions relief has led to a decision to boost the cash flow to these terror organizations.
This support, for example, has enabled Hezbollah to obtain highly developed new armaments, including advanced technologies that many militaries around the world would envy. Al-Rai, a Kuwaiti newspaper, reported Saturday that Hezbollah has received all the advanced weaponry that Syria has obtained from the Russians. The report cited a security source involved in the fighting in Zabadani, on the Syria-Lebanon border, where Hezbollah is fighting the al-Nusra Front, the Islamic State, and other groups. It is evidently the growing Iranian financial support that is enabling the Lebanese Shiite militia to purchase advanced weapons, including ones that were hitherto outside of its reach.
The increased Iranian financial support for Hezbollah in the wake of the deal is not unrelated to other political developments in the region. The growing sense of security in Iran with regard to its political status has also been bolstered by a Russian decision to increase its involvement in Syria, and may be what drove Iran to send hundreds of members of its Revolutionary Guard Corps to play an active role in the Syria fighting. Iran, along with Hezbollah and Moscow, has decided to dispatch sizable forces to the Syrian front in the past few weeks to prevent the collapse of Bashar Assad’s regime.
The Shiite-Russia axis has been anxiously watching the Islamic State creep toward Damascus in recent months, and saw the territory controlled by Assad, an important ally, diminished to the coastal region of Latakia south of the capital. The Iranians and Russians grasped that not only was Damascus endangered, but also access to the Alawite regions, from Homs to Damascus — thus the urgency for intervention, including with troops on the ground.
In Advance of 60 Minutes Appearance, a Review of Rouhani’s Hate Speech
In an interview with 60 Minutes scheduled to air tonight, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani claimed that chants of “death to America” are not “a slogan against the American people.” But Rouhani, who is often described in Western media as a moderate, has repeatedly supported extreme anti-American positions and rhetoric.
During his campaign for president two years ago, the state-run Mehr news agency reported that Rouhani said, “Saying ‘Death to America’ is easy. We need to express ‘Death to America’ with action. Saying it is easy.”
Earlier this year, Rouhani presided over a military parade which, The Times of Israel reported, “was punctuated by repeated cries of ‘Death to America’ and ‘Death to Israel.’”
Rouhani’s appearances in the Western media have been attempts to portray himself as less extreme than his predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. But those efforts haven’t always worked out.
Khamenei Video Calls America “Criminal,” Says Iran Will Defeat U.S. in War
The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) reported on the background that served as a springboard for the threats.
The video, which is 1:43 in duration and accompanied by some English subtitles, opens by showing U.S. President Barack Obama stating that the U.S. will not have a problem “knocking out [Iran’s] military with speed and dispatch if we choose to.” In response, Khamenei, in a July 18, 2015 address, calls this threat by Obama “nonsense stemming from ignorance.” Khamenei goes on to advise the Americans to “use their experiences [in the Middle East] correctly” as images play in the background…
According to MEMRI, while Khamenei speaks during the video, a crowd calls out, “We will stand until the end, Khamenei is the leader.”
A recent report from MEMRI showed that the negotiations that led to the recent nuclear deal with Iran were approved by Khamenei. Shortly after the nuclear deal was agreed upon, Khamenei tweeted an image of President Barack Obama with a gun to his head.
Iran Women’s Soccer Captain Prevented from Playing Abroad after Husband Confiscates Passport
The captain of Iran’s women’s soccer team will not be competing in the Asian Cup tournament after her husband confiscated her passport, preventing her from traveling abroad, the Associated Press reported Wednesday.
The dispute between 30-year-old midfielder Niloufar Ardalan and her husband, sports journalist Mahdi Toutounchi, touches on the rights of women in the Islamic Republic. Under Iranian law, husbands can stop their wives from traveling outside of the country.
News of Ardalan missing the tournament came Monday, when Iranian news website fararu.com reported that Ardalan wouldn’t be traveling to Malaysia for the Asian Cup, which begins Thursday. Ardalan’s husband reportedly wanted her to be home for their son’s first day of school.
In an Instagram post Tuesday, Ardalan said foreign media was exaggerating her case, but also acknowledged she would be missing the tournament. She also made a call for Iran to change its laws governing married women’s travel.
PreOccupiedTerritory: Citing Gaza, Media To Call Iran Nukes ‘Crude,’ ‘Homemade’ (satire)
Media outlets expecting to report on the development of Iranian atomic weapons will adopt the same dismissive terminology that they used in minimizing the threat to Israel and impact of rockets from Gaza, an industry group announced today.
The Goebbels Group, which includes the New York Times, CNN, MSNBC, Al Jazeera America, and other prominent outlets, made the announcement in a press release covering the upcoming UN General Assembly gathering of world leaders. The release aimed to clarify issues in journalistic ethics and provide guidance for all reporters, and as such recommended that non-member organizations adopt the same terminology for Iran’s impending nuclear weapons as was widely used to describe the munitions that Hamas and allied groups launched at Israel last summer – “crude” and “homemade” – despite the advanced capabilities and range of many of the missiles, and their industrial manufacture.
Hamas fired thousands of rockets at Israel during 2014’s 51-day war, including Chinese and Iranian missiles far more sophisticated than the locally-made Qassam rockets that once were the staple of Hamas’s arsenal. Nevertheless, many international media organizations hewed to the older paradigm, and referred even to the many Fajr-5 and M-75 weapons as “crude” or “homemade,” belying the missiles’ range and destructive capacity. Rather than alter their terminology in referring to Iran’s soon-to-be-developed nuclear arsenal, Goebbels Group members voted to apply the same nomenclature as in Gaza, since the alternative would force the organizations to restructure their entire narrative paradigm of Israel as Goliath vs. the various Muslim Davids.
'The UN Fuels the PA's Fire on Temple Mount'
Israeli ambassador to the United Nations (UN) Ron Prosor responded Friday to the UN Security Council, which called for "calm" and "status quo" - namely the banning of Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount - despite days of Muslim rioting.
"This was a statement which refers to the Temple Mount in the name of the Muslims only," Prosor fired, "and cites the right of Muslims to be in and pray in the complex, but completely ignores the violence of the Palestinians, the connection between the Jewish people to the Temple Mount, and the right of non-Muslims to enjoy freedom of access to the site."
"Instead of the Council calming, it favors those trying to inflame the region," he continued. "When the Palestinians decide to burn the Temple Mount, [Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud] Abbas fuels the violence and the Security Council gives it a tailwind, and it's a recipe for escalation in the region."
Prosor then continued to comment on Abbas's recent statements, including many calling for open violence on the Mount.
"Just yesterday he announced 'the dirty feet of the Jews defile Al-Aqsa,'" he said. "This rhetoric is obscene and dangerous."
He stressed that "Israel is determined to maintain holy sites of Judaism, Islam and Christianity in Jerusalem," Prosor noted. "Israel is also required to maintain the status quo on the Temple Mount, as declared by Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu - not only this week, but many times before."
"The UN's failure to point the finger at those responsible for violence breaking out will destabilize the region and encourages the continuation of Palestinian riots on the Temple Mount," he concluded.
ADL 'Appalled' by One-Sided UN Statement on Temple Mount Riots
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) on Saturday said it was “appalled” by what it said was a one-sided statement by the UN Security Council regarding recent violence on and around the Temple Mount.
The ADL accused the UNSC of ignoring the holiness of the site to Jews, and said it had “turned a blind eye” to Muslim violence and the anti-Semitic incitement by Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.
Friday's UNSC statement said that Muslim worshippers must “be allowed to worship in peace, free from violence, threats and provocation,” but according to the ADL, it ignored the violence and provocation being perpetrated by Arabs against Israeli security forces, as well as Jewish and other non-Muslim visitors, including the stockpiling of pipe bombs and stones inside the Al Aqsa mosque.
“We are greatly concerned by increasing tensions in Jerusalem on the Temple Mount/Noble Sanctuary site, holy to Jews and Muslims, and support the continued efforts of Israel’s political and religious leadership to appeal for calm and ensure that the ‘status quo’ - which accommodates both Jews and Muslims and has been in place since 1967 – be maintained,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL National Director.
Jordan’s king to Arab MKs: Temple Mount for Muslims only
Jordan’s King Abdullah on Sunday told a delegation of visiting Israeli Arab Knesset members that the al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem was for “Muslim prayer only.”
Abdullah also reiterated his criticism of Israel’s response to the recent escalation in violence on the Temple Mount, where the mosque compound is situated. Israeli security forces have repeatedly clashed with Muslim protesters in and around the Temple Mount over the past week. The clashes were triggered by a police raid at the mosque in the run-up to the Jewish new year festival of Rosh Hashanah that turned up pipe bombs, stockpiles of rocks and firecrackers as well as a barricade at an entrance to the al-Aqsa mosque.
“What is Netanyahu trying do achieve with this action; is he trying to cause an explosion?” Abdullah said during a meeting with members of the Joint (Arab) List in Amman, the Hebrew-language Maariv website reported.
Abdullah said that the recent unrest on the Temple Mount — the holiest site in Judaism and the third holiest in Islam — would be on the agenda during his meetings at the UN next week.
PreOccupied Territory: Joint List Protests Ban On Molotov Cocktails In Knesset (satire)
Members of the Joint Arab List delegation in the Knesset voiced their objections to various security measures in place at the compound, calling the ban on explosives and incendiary weapons suppression of their legitimate right to resist the Zionist occupation.
MKs Dr. Ahmad Tibi, Haneen Zoabi, and Jamal Zahalka held an impromptu demonstration in the courtyard in front of the Knesset this morning (Sunday) to call attention to what they deem “the discriminatory policies in place that prevent Arab delegates from exercising their political rights,” specifically the right to object to Jewish sovereignty by hurling firebombs at symbols and agents of that sovereignty.
“There is no conceivable reason that we, the representatives of Palestinian citizens in this country, are prevented from engaging in the traditional protest activities of our people,” declared Tibi through a bullhorn. “Yet here, in the Knesset compound itself, where we have been elected specifically to represent the interests of Palestinian citizens of Israel in an official capacity, we are told in no uncertain terms that Molotov Cocktails, rocks, pipe bombs, and other authentic symbols of Palestinian resistance are not allowed. End the imperialist suppression of our culture!”
Al-Azhar University Professor Al-Hilali: Human Life Is More Important than the Al-Aqsa Mosque
In a recent TV interview, Al-Azhar University Professor Saad Al-Din Al-Hilali said that human life was more important than anything else, adding that the Al-Aqsa Mosque was in the hands of non-Muslims on the day the Prophet Muhammad died. "These people are dying for the sake of turning the war into a religious war," said Al-Hilali, a professor of comparative jurisprudence at Al-Azhar University. The interview aired on Al-Youm TV on September 16, 2015.


PreOccupiedTerritory: Mecca To Chip Away At Kaaba To Arm Temple Mt. Palestinians (satire)
The mayor of Islam’s holiest city announced plans today to provide rocks to Palestinians on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem by breaking off pieces of the Kaaba building in the city’s most famous mosque so that the Palestinians could be better-equipped to attack Jews attempting to visit.
Mayor of Mecca Dr. Osama bin Fadhel Al-Bar responded to allegations that his country was doing little to help protect the Al Aqsa compound from defilement, saying that he was prepared to order the demolition of the revered Kaaba, including its ancient, venerated Black Stone, so that Palestinian protesters would have enough rocks to throw at Jews and Israeli police. The mayor, who was appointed by the Saudi government, insisted that no cause was more sacred to the Muslim world than the preservation of Islamic rule over Jerusalem’s holiest site.
“Only fools genuinely believe that we in Arabia are doing nothing for the holy Palestinian cause,” he said. “In fact it is not the ‘Palestinian’ cause at all, but the sacred duty of every Muslim to resist the Zionists by whatever means possible. If that means destroying the Kaaba piece by piece and delivering the fragments to our brothers at Al Aqsa to use as projectiles in preventing infidels from conducting their Talmudic rituals on the Haram al-Sharif, so be it.” He added that partial demolition of the Kaaba could begin as early as next week, to allow pilgrims already en route to Mecca to perform their seven-fold circumambulation of it as planned.
As for the Black Stone at the Kaaba’s eastern corner, Al-Bar said its holiness had been superseded by the all-encompassing resistance to Zionism, and it, too, would be removed from the structure to be thrown or slung at infidels. “In fact the Black Stone has been fragmented several times already, so this act would represent no further indignity,” he explained. “I would think it the highest honor to be part of the noble resistance to usurpation of Al Aqsa.”
‘Abbas’s UN speech won’t announce end of PA’
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas last week told European diplomats that, contrary to rumors in the Arab press, he wouldn’t announce the dismantlement of the PA or annulment of the 1993 Oslo Accords in an upcoming UN General Assembly speech, Haaretz quoted an Israeli official saying Sunday.
In a recent interview with the London-based Arabic newspaper al-Quds al-Arabi, Abbas promised to “drop a bombshell” during his September 29 UN speech, but enigmatically refused to reveal what it was.
Following publication of his remarks, European officials asked Abbas for clarifications, to which he replied that he wouldn’t be announcing the dismantling of the Palestinian Authority. The diplomats conveyed his remarks to Israeli officials in Jerusalem, the paper said.
The same unnamed Israeli official said, however, that Abbas confidant Saeb Erekat told European diplomats that the aging president was to announce the termination of the PA and would “return the keys to Israel.”
Parents, baby saved by 'miracle' from Palestinian stone-throwers
A couple and their five-month-old baby emerged unscathed Sunday morning from a shower of rocks after the two vehicles in which they were driving were attacked by 15 masked Palestinians just outside Jerusalem.
A third vehicle was also damaged, and its driver escaped harm.
“Thank God we were saved. It was a miracle,” said Avi Gamss.
He and his wife, Sara, had left their home in the Tekoa settlement in two separate vehicles around 9 a.m., so they could drop one off at a Jerusalem garage to be fitted with special windows to protect against stones. Their daughter Batya was in a car seat in the front of the car with Sara.
“I was happy because it was my last journey in an unprotected car,” said Sara, who explained that she always feared that she would be attacked by Palestinians while driving.
Israeli Website Records 23 Rock Attacks Sunday Morning as Netanyahu Battles Attorney-General Over Rules of Engagement
At least 23 rock-throwing and Molotov cocktail attacks against Israelis had been perpetrated by Palestinians in different parts of the country as of 2 p.m. Sunday, the Israeli news site 0404 reported.
Among the violent incidents recorded during the first half of the day alone were an attack on an Israeli fire truck near the Jerusalem suburb of Betar Illit, carried out by masked perpetrators; a family car was pummeled with rocks near Beit Sahour, during an attack on several vehicles simultaneously – with a large rock landing next to a baby’s car-seat. Miraculously, no injuries were sustained in either attack, though damage was done to the vehicles. An IDF officer in the same area was wounded by rocks and rushed to the hospital with an apparent broken leg.
Due to the escalation of Palestinian violence in Jerusalem and the West Bank, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a special security meeting on Sunday to reiterate his call on Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein to approve altering the rules of engagement for IDF soldiers and Israel Police confronting the phenomenon of rock-throwing.
Rocket fired from Gaza, lands in open field
Palestinians in Gaza fired a rocket that exploded in an open field on the Israeli side of the border before dawn on Monday. No injuries or damages were reported.
According to the IDF, no rocket sirens were sounded because the rocket was headed toward an open field.
The IDF deployed Iron Dome anti-rocket batteries in the southern cities of Sderot and Netivot on Sunday, two days after a Gazan rocket fired by an ISIS-affiliated terror group slammed into Sderot, damaging a bus and a home.
The air force's Active Defense Wing set up the two batteries days after it deployed an Iron Dome battery in Ashdod, which went into action on Friday night and fired an interceptor to destroy a Gazan rocket heading towards Ashkelon.
Memorial for Terror Victim Danny Gonen Defaced by Arab Graffiti
Only three weeks after a memorial site for 25-year-old terror victim Danny Gonen was unveiled at the site of his murder, bloody-red painted Arabic words were sprayed all over the shining plaque and dawn-colored stone memorial, Channel 10 reported Sunday (Sept. 10).
The name “Fatah” – the ruling faction of the Palestinian Authority – both led by long-time chairman Mahmoud Abbas, who also leads the Palestine Liberation Organization, is scrawled in big dripping Arabic letters.
Fierce horizontal red lines cross out the black Hebrew engraving on the silver plaque that honors Gonen. Police have opened an investigation into the vandalism that defaced the memorial that stands to remind those passing by that although the spot seems tranquil and serene, Palestinian Arab terrorists have ensured it is not always so.
Danny Gonen was shot to death there on June 19 while returning from a hike with his friend Netanel Hadad, with whom he had just finished swimming in the Ein Buvin spring. The beautiful body of water is located in a mountainous area between the Jewish community of Dolev and the Palestinian Arab village of Dair Ibzi.
Palestinians charged with throwing firebombs, rocks at Israeli motorists
The Shin Bet said the four, from the village of Hizme, were part of a “popular terror” group involved in various rock-throwing and firebombing attacks.
Israelis were wounded in at least three of the attacks: the April 7 firebombing of a bus near Hizme; the June 21 firebombing of a bus on Road 437 near the village; and the July 26 attack against a bus driving from Hizme to Anatot. Drivers were wounded in all three attacks.
The four suspects in the cell, aged 28, 22, 22 and 21, were arraigned in the Judea Military Court. Some of the suspects confessed to their involvement in the attacks, the Shin Bet said.
The arrests took place over the last several weeks, the Shin Bet said, without providing details.
Arab Schoolchildren Nabbed after Stoning Bus
Border Police caught four Arab school children aged 10-11 Monday after they hurled rocks at an Egged bus on Sultan Sliman street in Jerusalem.
No one was hurt and no damage was caused by the rocks.
The Border Police force that was directed toward the children caught them and brought them to the Shalem police station at Salah a-Din street. They turned out to be children from the neighborhood of A-Tur who attacked the bus after finishing the school day.
Since the children are under 12 and as such have no criminal responsibility, it is unlikely that any criminal proceedings will be launched against them.
IDF soldier injured in skirmish near Joseph’s Tomb
An IDF soldier was wounded early Monday morning after his unit was attacked by rock-throwing Palestinians near the Tomb of Joseph outside the West Bank city of Nablus.
Dozens of Palestinians threw stones and Molotov cocktails, and rolled burning tires downhill at the soldiers, inflicting light to moderate injuries on the soldier.
The soldiers were guarding Jewish worshipers who came to pray at the tomb, believed to contain the remains of the biblical patriarch Joseph.
The soldier was taken to a hospital for treatment.
Israel Refutes Claim That It’s Preventing Palestinians From Aiding Syrian Refugees
Palestinian envoy to the United Nations Riyad Mansour on Saturday accused Israel of preventing the Palestinian Authority (PA) from aiding Syrian refugees.
Mansour claimed Israel has denied some 100,000 Palestinian Syrian refugees passage to PA-controlled territory through Israel. In a letter to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Mansour urged the U.N. Security Council to order Israel to allow the refugees’ passage so that the PA could absorb them in its territories.
The Israeli Foreign Ministry said in response, “The Palestinian Authority’s cynicism knows no bounds. They are even willing to use the Syrian refugee crisis to create provocation. Israeli hospitals have so far treated over 1,700 wounded Syrians, while the Palestinian Authority has done nothing for them.”
PA officers disciplined over video of them beating Palestinians
Palestinian security forces say they have disciplined eight officers caught on video beating a teenage boy with clubs as they were preventing dozens of protesters from reaching an Israeli checkpoint near the West Bank city of Bethlehem on Friday.
The video showed protesters throwing stones and bottles and then several officers beating the boy. It sparked criticism of the Palestinian leadership and demands to punish the officers.
The National Security Forces said Sunday that four senior commanders were suspended and will face “disciplinary measures.” Israeli media reports said they were removed from their posts.
Another four officers were sentenced to three months in prison.
Hamas Threatens to Hang Abbas
Mahmoud al-Zahar, a member of the Hamas politburo and a senior official in the terrorist organization, threatened violence against the Palestinian Authority (PA) on Friday despite the unity agreement between the two groups sealed last April.
Speaking at a massive rally in Gaza's Khan Younis organized by Hamas in support of the Islamist rioters attacking police on the Temple Mount, al-Zahar slammed the PA for not openly conducting attacks against Israel.
"If (Hamas's) Al-Qassam Brigades, (Islamic Jihad's) Al-Quds Brigades and the forces of the struggle were to adopt the policies and the leaders and countries around them, they wouldn't be waving the rifle at the settlers, as their advice doesn't give us strength to confront the occupation and its soldiers."
Al-Zahar said the PA's security cooperation with the IDF is "spying for the enemy," reports Al-Risalah.
Russia to allow Israeli strikes on Syrian arms transfers, PM says
Israel and Russia agreed on a mechanism to avoid military confrontations between the two countries in Syria, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday after a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow.
“My goal was to prevent misunderstandings between IDF forces and Russian forces. We have established a mechanism to prevent such misunderstandings. This is very important for Israel’s security,” Netanyahu told Israeli reporters during a telephone briefing from the Russian capital.
“Our conversation was dedicated to the complex security situation on the northern border,” the prime minister said. “I explained our policies in different ways to try to thwart the deadly weapons transfers from the Syrian army to Hezbollah — action actually undertaken under the supervision of Iran.”
Hezbollah Child-Killer Samir Kuntar Still Alive After rumors of his death in Israeli airstrike more than two months ago
Samir Kuntar, the notorious Hezbollah child-murderer released from Israeli prison in 2008, is alive and kicking it seems, despite earlier reports he was killed in a missile strike in Syria.
In July it was widely reported that Kuntar was the target of an Israeli missile strike on a vehicle carrying pro-regime fighters in the Syrian-controlled Golan Heights.
Five fighters were killed in that strike, and sources including the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights claimed Kuntar and another Hezbollah fighter were among the dead.
Kuntar and his Hezbollah comrade were believed to be in southern Syria, accompanied by fighters from the pro-Assad National Defense Forces (NDF) militia, in an attempt to recruit members of the Druze community to the NDF's ranks.
Kuntar is himself a Druze.
But in an interview aired September 9 on Hezbollah's Al-Manar TV and translated by MEMRI, a healthy-looking Kuntar can be seen railing against the US for designating him as a terrorist.
Samir Quntar Criticizes U.S. for Designating Him a Terrorist: "Crude Interference"


Exclusive: This Is the ISIS Intel the U.S. Military Dumbed Down
The intelligence pros said killing certain ISIS leaders might not diminish the group and that airstrikes might not be working. The bosses didn’t like those answers—not at all.
Senior intelligence officials at the U.S. military’s Central Command demanded significant alterations to analysts’ reports that questioned whether airstrikes against the so-called Islamic State widely known as ISIS were damaging the group’s finances and its ability to launch attacks. But reports that showed the group being weakened by the U.S.-led air campaign received comparatively little scrutiny, The Daily Beast has learned.
Senior CENTCOM intelligence officials who reviewed the critical reports sent them back to the analysts and ordered them to write new versions that included more footnotes and details to support their assessments, according to two officials familiar with a complaint levied by more than 50 analysts about intelligence manipulation by CENTCOM higher-ups.
In some cases, analysts were also urged to state that killing particular ISIS leaders and key officials would diminish the group and lead to its collapse. Many analysts, however, didn’t believe that simply taking out top ISIS leaders would have an enduring effect on overall operations.


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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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