Wednesday, December 09, 2015

From Ian:

Terrorist privilege
Two people take 14 lives in California.
Fourteen beautiful people: A woman from Iran, another woman whose family fled Vietnam, a Mexican man. They slaughter the diversity that makes America great. These victims did community service and cared for others.
And what happens? The murderers almost become the victims in the narrative.
No one protests against the extremism and hatred the perpetrators had for others. No one is particularly angry at them. People are outraged at gun laws.
Newspapers run editorials about guns.
A newspaper bashes politicians for offering prayers. US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump makes an outrageously discriminatory remark about Muslim immigrants, and suddenly he is accused of being the reason that “jihadists demonize the US.” There is more anger about climate change and the rise of Marine Le Pen’s right-wing Front Nationale in France than there is hatred for the perpetrators and ideology behind the Paris attacks.
Douglas Murray: ‘Victim blaming’ after terrorist attacks is a pernicious new trend
The term ‘victim blaming’ is most commonly used to describe people who claim that a woman walking out in a short skirt is ‘asking to be raped.’ But even this claim is not quite as gut-wrenching as the claim that some people are ‘asking to be killed’ or once killed are effectively ‘guilty of their own murder.’
This most malicious form of ‘victim blaming’ was rolled out in the American press at the weekend by the interestingly named Linda Stasi. In a column in Saturday’s New York Daily News Ms Stasi wrote about one of the 14 people massacred in an Isis-inspired attack in San Bernardino, California (a terrorist attack so terrible that it has made even President Obama admit that a certain type of terrorism might exist. Anyhow – Ms Stasi’s piece is a quite remarkable exhibit on the moral insanity of our time.
Last week after having apparently pledged allegiance to Isis, a husband and wife called Tashfeen Malik and Syed Farook walked into a party at Farook’s own workplace in San Bernardino and began gunning down the guests. The couple – now designated as ‘terrorists’ by officials – were then killed in a shoot-out with police. A subsequent search of their home turned up an arsenal of weaponry. So far so bad. But these are strange and confusing times for some people, and Ms Stasi is perhaps the most confused of all.
Little girl demonstrates art of stabbing: “Stab! Stab! Stab! Stab! Stab!”
Palestinian Media Watch documents the Palestinian Authority and Fatah leadership's messages to its population, showing both the PA ideology as well as how it directs the population to act. The current Palestinian terror wave is an excellent example of how the Palestinian population has responded to the leadership's message. Mahmoud Abbas and other PA leaders sparked the current terror and violence by frequently reiterating the PA libel that Israel is planning to destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and they called on Palestinians to "defend it," "bless[ed] every drop of blood spilled" for it, "congratulated" the murderers and much more. Responding to the call, and following the praise and support from PA and Fatah leaders, among them Abbas, who referred to stabbings as "peaceful popular uprising," Palestinians are - independent of the leadership - inciting to murder on social media, including encouraging people to slit the throats of Jews, and committing murder themselves.
The following are examples of social media murder promotion by Palestinians on Facebook.
One video shows a little girl glorifying stabbing. She is asked:
Man: "What do you tell [Palestinian] youth in the West Bank?"
Girl demonstrates with a long knife: "Stab! Stab! Stab! Stab! Stab!"

[Facebook page of the Jerusalem Intifada's Young People Coalition, Nov. 12, 2015]
Video on Palestinian Facebook page - Little girl encourages stabbing Jews

Palestinian terrorism plus Western appeasement equals today’s Islamist
The Palestinians chose well in targeting Israel, especially during the 1970s. Directing terrorism against the Jewish state triggered decades of blaming the victims and excusing the perpetrators. The anti-Semitic hostility so many Westerners have toward Israel, the Jew among the nations, reinforced the growing post-Sixties culture of Western guilt, self-abnegation, appeasement and enabling of violent enemies – as long as they could define themselves as people of color. Radicals cast democratic Israel, forced to defend itself, as an imperial force not an embattled state, while casting Palestinian terrorists as freedom fighters not pathological killers.
Rather than noting how few peoples suffering far more turn terrorist, rather than wondering why Palestinians targeted innocent women, children, elders, Blame Israel Firsters assumed that Palestinians’ cruelty somehow reflected Israeli cruelty. Israel must be very guilty of intense oppression to merit such hatred, the politically correct assumed, rather than scrutinizing the Palestinian death cult that fed off anti-Semitism and Islamic fundamentalism.
Arafat’s success and the West’s limp response helped weaponize an exclusivist, bigoted, triumphalist Islamist ideology, inspiring al-Qaida, Islamic State and others.
Even today, President Barack Obama hesitates to label terrorism terrorism and dodges the phrase “radical Islamism” – even when a jihadist major shot up Fort Hood in 2009 or a San Bernardino shooter posted an IS manifesto. True, Obama has hunted some terrorists aggressively, but his ideological confusion has emboldened terrorists – and reflects this broader international muddle in facing evil.
If I were Palestinian or Muslim, I would be ashamed. So far, the great Palestinian contribution to civilization has been terrorism; “Palestinian” as a modifier most frequently appears before the word “terrorism” – 32 million times, a Google search shows. The phrase “Islamic terrorism” appears 201 million times. Don’t they want to be known for constructive contributions? Without a robust internal critique, among Palestinians, among Muslims, terrorism will continue. Golda Meir’s aphorism needs updating. Yes, Palestinians must love their children more than they hate our own before peace comes. And Palestinians must also become terrified of being considered terrorists.
Western rationalizers of Muslim terorism
Overall killings by terrorist organizations in 2014 exceeded 32 000 victims. The five most murderous organizations were all Muslim, with Boko Haram and ISIS in the forefront.
US Secretary of State John Kerry made a very warped statement about the Paris massacres. He said "There’s something different about what happened from Charlie Hebdo, and I think everybody would feel that. There was a sort of particularized focus and perhaps even a legitimacy in terms of – not a legitimacy, but a rationale that you could attach yourself to somehow and say, okay, they’re really angry because of this and that. This Friday was absolutely indiscriminate. It wasn’t to aggrieve one particular sense of wrong. It was to terrorize people."
Here we have one of the highest ranking U.S officials, who through mental confusion attempts to differentiate between terrorist acts, immorally offering partial justifications of some murders as opposed to others.
Gérard Araud, the French ambassador to the United States made a somewhat similar differentiation. After the Paris murders, he said: "These are the foundations of our model of society that the terrorists seek to destroy: Yesterday journalists and Jews; now ordinary citizens whose only crime was to enjoy life on a Friday night in Paris."
French Jews may well understand from this that where terrorist murders are concerned, they do not count as ordinary citizens.
Michael J. Totten: Samantha, Powerless?
In 2003, Samantha Power won the Pulitzer Prize for A Problem from Hell, her searing critique of American responses to genocides from Bosnia to Iraq. More than a decade later, the unrestrained brutality in Syria has turned the administration that appointed Power as UN Ambassador into the deadliest case study of our time.
It’s hard to imagine a greater foreign policy failure than the American response to the conflict in Syria, which has mushroomed into one of the worst humanitarian crises since the Second World War.
What started as a series of peaceful demonstrations for democratic and civil society reform in 2011 has since degenerated into a brutal multi-front conflict involving the Assad regime in Damascus, Vladimir Putin’s Russia, Iranian-backed Hezbollah, a smorgasbord of mostly Islamist rebel groups including al-Qaeda, secular left-wing Kurdish militias, and, of course, ISIS—the most psychopathic army of killers on the planet.
Rather than live up to his earlier and undeserved reputation as a “reformer,” President Bashar al-Assad has proven himself the most violent dictator in the Middle East since Saddam Hussein.
ISIS, meanwhile, rather than living up to U.S. President Barack Obama’s description as al-Qaeda’s “JV team,” has evolved from a ragtag terrorist organization to a full-blown genocidal army massacring its way through Syria, Iraq and beyond.
The American response so far is only a tad more robust than the sound of chirping crickets.
Barkat: 'Armed citizens' and 'smart profiling' helping keep Jerusalem safe
Armed citizens and "smart profiling" were some of the techniques Jerusalem was employing to help abate the rising wave of terrorism hitting Israel over the last three month, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat said during an interview on CNBC Tuesday.
"When we have a terror threat, we ask people to carry their guns," Barkat told CNBC's morning financial news program "Squawk Box," during a trip to New York City this week.
"Usually we're talking about officers, captains and up, from the Israeli army, which are well-trained [and] very responsible," he said. "They know how to go to combat."
Barkat added: "They're sometimes better trained than the police. There's no misuse of rifles and guns in Israel . On the contrary, they give extra measures [and] extra security. It's exactly the opposite, I believe, [of] what is happening in the United States."
Barkat's visit comes on the heels of last week's terror attack, in which Tashfeen Malik and Syed Rizwan Farook killed 14 people in San Bernardino, California.
IDF uses power of persuasion to dissuade next lone attacker
He replied: "Every attacker leaves signs long before they decide to become martyrs. We just need to pick up these signals from every possible source: Shin Bet, social networks and many other things that would point to a young person aged 16 to 25 being a potential attacker."
Gofman thought for a moment before adding: "In earlier periods terrorists wanted to kill Jews and some were willing to become martyrs for it. Now they want to become martyrs and if they can kill a couple of Jews while accomplishing that then all the better. One way or another they are lauded and gain status in Palestinian society. They are the target of incitement from all directions. Lone attacks are a result of a vicious cycle whose essence is imitation and inspiration."
This analysis is likely. The question is whether the IDF will know how to interrupt this vicious cycle and restore calm, at least for a while, until the next wave of terror. Dealing with individual terrorists is currently the IDF's main challenge in the West Bank.
Son of Former Knesset Member Among 2 Israelis Wounded in Stabbing Attack in Hebron
An IDF soldier and an Israeli civilian were wounded in a stabbing attack in Hebron Wednesday, Israeli news outlets reported.
The attack took place just before 1 p.m., during a security check at the entrance to Beit Hadassah, a Jewish neighborhood in Hebron. The terrorist was shot and killed by a civilian security guard on the scene.
Magen David Adom paramedics administered first aid to the soldier, who suffered a number of stab wounds to his head and torso, and the civilian, with light wounds to his leg, before evacuating them to the Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem.
Both victims are men approximately 20 years old. The civilian is the son of former member of Knesset Orit Strook from the Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) party, who reached the hospital before her son arrived by ambulance, told reporters, “The time has come for all the holes in the fence in Hebron to be closed. Everyone is familiar with them… Stop toying with our lives.”
According to initial reports, the Palestinian terrorist attacked the soldier who asked to see his identification. And when he began to stab the soldier, Yitzhak Strook pounced on him to try to get him off the soldier, and got wounded in the process.
Krav Maga: Defending Against Knife Attacks

Reporter Suggests Israeli Police Use Tasers Against Knife-Wielding Palestinians
A reporter suggested Tuesday afternoon the State Department encourage Israeli police to use tasers instead of guns to contain Palestinian attackers wielding knives.
Citing the use of a stun gun to arrest a Muslim terrorist in London who stabbed three people on Monday, Said Arikat of the Palestinian Al Quds Daily DC proposed Israeli security personnel do the same to avoid bloodshed from “the excessive use of force by the Israeli army” against Palestinian teenagers.
“Drawing on the lesson from London just the other day when a knife-wielding terrorist was basically subdued by a taser, wouldn’t it be more prudent for the Israelis to use such methods in subduing these kids instead of turning them into martyrs and basically accelerating and fanning the flames?” Arikat asked John Kirby. “Wouldn’t it be better in using methods like this to sort of neutralize these would be knife-wielding?”
Kirby refused to comment on the specific circumstances of the events in London or in Jerusalem but said the United States wants the violence to stop so a two-state solution could be achieved.
Peter Beinart compares Sheldon Adelson to terror-supporters
Peter Beinart - the liberal Jewish-American commentator who thinks Israelis are "reaping what they sow" with the ongoing deadly wave of Arab terrorism - faced off against the equally-outspoken American Rabbi Shmuley Boteach at a recent debate in Tel Aviv.
The panel was by all accounts a lively one, but one particularly explosive moment occurred when Beinart challenged Boteach over his support for conservative Jewish-American philanthropist Sheldon Adelson.
Referring to controversial comments by Adelson in 2013, in which he suggested the US drop a nuclear bomb in an Iranian desert as a "warning" to Tehran, Beinart called on Boteach to "repudiate" him in the same way as he calls on others to repudiate violent Islamists.
Sparks then flew as Boteach accused Beinart of misquoting Adelson, and excoriated him for the comparison
Jewish Swedish Parliamentarian Accuses Foreign Minister of Supporting Terrorism
A Jewish member of the Swedish parliament accused his country’s top diplomat of supporting terrorism, the Israeli news site nrg reported on Tuesday.
Kent Ekeroth of the far-Right Sweden Democrats party was responding to comments made by Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom, indicating her support for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas — whom he accused of incitement and backing of terrorism. This, said Ekeroth, placed Wallstrom outside of the “camp of peace.”
He said that Wallstrom’s words “rewarded a terrorist state led by a terror-inciter, which supports terrorism and pays money to terrorists.” He added that though Wallstrom claimed she heard Abbas denounce the recent stabbing and other attacks against Israelis, “not even once during recent months has he distanced himself from these actions.”
Ekeroth then challenged the foreign minister to “provide one example where Abbas condemned Palestinian terrorism over the last years,” adding, “I don’t think she can.”
Chabad's 770 headquarters evacuated in bomb threat
Chabad Lubavitch World Headquarters at 770 Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn was evacuated on Tuesday night due to a bomb threat.
The threat targeting the iconic Jewish center was made in a phone call to 911, and in response the NYPD together with the Shomrim neighborhood patrol evacuated the building.
After it was cleared, a thorough investigation of the site was conducted, and after it was confirmed that no explosives were present people were let back in a few hours later.
"We trace(d) the phone call back to a psych ward but we're still taking all precautions," an NYPD source told, in confirmation of police sources who told that the call came from a psych ward in Queens.
However, in consideration of the recent high profile terror attacks - most recently the lethal California shooting claimed by Islamic State (ISIS) last week - the NYPD decided to take no chances.
PM Benjamin Netanyahu: San Bernardino and the State of Israel
The United States has experienced a terrible and savage attack in San Bernardino, and I wish to offer the condolences of the people of Israel to the families, the aggrieved families, and of course send our wishes for a speedy recovery to the wounded.
The terrorists attacking in California or in Israel, or for that matter in Paris, are attacking the very values that we hold dear – freedom, tolerance, diversity. All the things that define the value of life and society in our eyes, they find anathema and that’s why they attack us.
I think, too, that this is what makes us strong. [The jihadists] think we are hedonistic and weak; we’re actually very strong societies, very resilient…
These values are what makes the bond between Israel and the United States, the American people and the people of Israel, so strong. It’s that identity of values, those very values that are under such fierce attack today. Nobody should underestimate the resilience and power of our societies. Nobody should underestimate the United States. It was, it remains and will be the leader of the world precisely because it is so rooted in the values that make societies great.
Dennis Prager: Farook Was Obsessed With Israel –What Else Do We Need to Know?
According to the father of the San Bernardino terrorist, Syed Rizwan Farook, his son was “obsessed with Israel.”
In an interview in the Italian newspaper La Stampa, the senior Syed Farook said, “My son said that he shared [Islamic State leader] Al Baghdadi’s ideology and supported the creation of the Islamic State. He was also obsessed with Israel.”
Likewise, the Los Angeles Times reported that “As the investigation unfolded, friends and family of the shooters came forward to offer snapshots that may point to what motivated Wednesday’s attack, including Farook’s apparent fixation on Israel and Malik’s devotion to a fundamentalist strain of Islam.”
There is no greater predictor of violence than Jew-hatred. It predicts violence as accurately as does animal torture.
But while it is universally acknowledged that childhood torture of animals predicts violence, relatively few people understand that the same holds true of Jew-hatred.
US Jewish Leader: Obama’s Oval Office Speech ‘Frightening Disgrace’
President Obama’s address to the nation from the Oval Office on Sunday was a “frightening disgrace,” said the head of a major US Jewish group on Monday.
In a harshly worded statement, Morton A. Klein, president of the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), slammed what he called “Obama’s terrorism speech” and listed what he considered to be the 16 “specific areas of concern” that emerged from it.
“Not only was there no new policy,” Klein’s statement read, “but it was filled with falsehoods about the daily intelligence briefings.”
Angela Merkel named Time’s ‘Person of the Year’
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been named Time’s Person of the Year, praised by the magazine for her leadership on everything from Syrian refugees to the Greek debt crisis.
Time also cited Merkel’s strong response to “Vladimir Putin’s creeping theft of Ukraine.”
Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was runner up, followed by US presidential candidate Donald Trump.
“Leaders are tested only when people don’t want to follow,” Time editor Nancy Gibbs said in a statement issued Wednesday. “For asking more of her country than most politicians would dare, for standing firm against tyranny as well as expedience and for providing steadfast moral leadership in a world where it is in short supply, Angela Merkel is TIME’s Person of the Year.”
To Save Itself, Liberal Europe Must Find Itself
There are two common explanations for the horrific terrorist attacks which took place in Paris last month.
The first seeks to interpret the Paris shootings as a response to Western foreign policy—or more specifically, to Western imperialism. This can either refer to the supposed imperialism of recent years or go as far back as the Crusades.
The second dwells on the jihadists’ fundamental opposition to liberalism itself. Thus, the West is not on the receiving end of violence for what it does, rather it experiences these sporadic outbursts of brutality based on what it is.
Both arguments are deployed in opposition to one other, yet both contain an element of truth.
First of all, Paris may very well have been “blowback” for France’s role in bombing ISIS in Iraq and Syria. Hitler’s production of the V-3 cannon was “blowback” for the Allied assault on Nazi Germany. Blowback is invariably what happens when a country wages war—what it is not is a moral judgement on the decision to go to war itself (though the argument is often disingenuously deployed as if it were).
At the same time, it is also true that Le Bataclan concert hall in Paris was a place where, in the jihadist vernacular, “hundreds of apostates had gathered in a profligate prostitution party.” This sounds a lot like the misogynist statements put out in the past by jihadists, such as those who unsuccessfully placed a bomb outside London’s popular Ministry of Sound nightclub in 2004, the casus belli in that instance being “those slags dancing around.” It should be clear from reading them that it is the existence of liberal democracy, rather than any particular policy pursued by the liberal democracies, which these budding totalitarians find so repugnant.
MEMRI: Conspiracy Theories In Arab World Following Paris Attacks: Foreign Intelligence Agencies Planned The Attacks; ISIS Only Carried Them Out
Like previous terror attacks in the West, the November 13, 2015 attacks in Paris evoked many condemnations in the Arab press, but also articles stating that the attacks were a Western conspiracy meant to achieve various goals of foreign and domestic policy. The articles contended that ISIS is a creation of Western intelligence agencies, and that these agencies were the ones who planned the attacks and used ISIS to carry them out. It was also claimed that the U.S. is the greatest inciter of global terrorism, and that the main parties who benefited from terror were the Syrian regime, Israel, Europe and Turkey, whereas the main victims were Arabs and Muslims. The articles leveled harsh criticism at the West, especially at the U.S., stating that they ignored ISIS crimes as long as they took place in the Arab world, and even encouraged them in order to serve their own interests.
3rd Bataclan terrorist identified when mother gets text from IS
The third gunman who terrorized Paris’ Bataclan concert hall before being killed last month in the attack was identified Wednesday as a Frenchman who left for Syria in 2013. The development came after his mother received a text message announcing his death and gave a DNA sample to police.
The news was further confirmation that the deadly Paris attacks were carried out largely, if not entirely, by Europeans trained by the Islamic State group in Syria.
All the November 13 attackers identified so far have been from France or Belgium, native French speakers who joined Islamic State extremists. The Bataclan attackers, who carried automatic weapons and wore explosive vests, were responsible for the worst of the carnage. Of the 130 killed in Paris that night, nearly three-quarters died at the concert venue.
Convert who protested outside Parliament over Syrian airstrikes with poster saying 'I am a Muslim... do you trust me enough for a hug?' now faces jail for threatening to bomb MP's house
A Muslim convert who protested outside Parliament with a sign saying 'I am Muslim, do you trust me enough for a hug?' is facing jail for threatening to bomb an MP's house.
Craig Wallace used the sign as Stop The War protesters came to Westminster for the vote on military action in Syria last week.
It stated: 'I am Muslim, I am labelled a terrorist, I trust you, do you trust me enough for a hug?'
But the 23-year-old, of Willesden Green, north London, is now facing a possible prison sentence after he threatened Tory MP Charlotte Leslie online following the vote.
Wallace, who calls himself Muhammad Mujahid Islam online, wrote on Facebook: 'I'm going to smash her windows then drop a bomb on her house while she's tucked up in bed. You dirty f****** pig-s******* s***.'
Maj. Gen. Jim Molan: At war with ISIS: Australia's aim should be victory, not just participation
There is no military-only solution to the ISIS problem and no one with a modicum of experience has ever claimed there is. But although there is no need for the kind of massive boots-on -the-ground deployment that characterised the second Iraq War and the Afghan War, there is an overwhelming need for effective tactics to assist locals to win their wars.
Prime Minister Turnbull has rightly told us that he is not going to change the nature or level of our current military deployments. This is appropriate for the moment because there are strong indications that the US is in the process of changing many of the sub-optimal tactics it is using in Iraq.
Those involved know what is needed: first, the air campaign needs to be made more effective by using appropriate rules of engagement and by placing air controllers into Iraqi ground units; and second, the training of Iraqi ground units needs to be extended to advisers who accompany the Iraqis into battle, as we did successfully in Afghanistan. These are simple, straightforward measures with no need for large numbers of foreign troops. Both of these techniques appear recently to have been put into practice in some areas of Iraq and Syria by the US and the UK, but they have not been applied universally.
If Australia is asked for help once the US decides to apply such tactics widely, let's hope Australia focuses on the outcome of this war instead of on the inputs. The Prime Minister reminds us that Australia's contribution is the second-biggest for the delivery of training to Iraqi units, but the true military output is not size or even the training delivered. The output of our involvement is the Iraqi army's ability to fight and win.
Australia should be trying to influence the US to make its tactics on the ground match the strategy the White House announced last December. If this can be achieved, we may reduce the suffering of the Iraqi people, help the Syrian people by showing that ISIS can be defeated, lessen the radicalisation of our youth by denying ISIS material for its triumphant videos, and lessen domestic terrorism by killing those who may come home to kill us.
Last year alone, 32,658 people were killed by terrorism, compared to 18,111 in 2013. Along with its allies, Australia should be trying to win this war, not just participate. Any other approach is morally questionable.
Daily Telegraph: Assad Helped Create ISIS and Keeps It In Power
Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad was instrumental in engineering the rise of ISIS, and his continued support of the terror group makes him a poor ally in the fight against it, David Blair, the chief foreign correspondent of the Daily Telegraph, argued in an analysis published Monday.
Blair noted that in 2011 and 2012, during the early stages of the rebellion against Assad, the Syrian dictator released numerous Islamist prisoners from jail. A portion of these freed jihadists rose to become commanders of ISIS. With their assistance, ISIS captured oil fields in eastern Syria and then sold the oil to Assad, who effectively funded the terror group’s activities.
Despite the fact that ISIS controls significant portions of Syria, Blair wrote that a study by IHS Jane’s found that only six percent of Assad’s attacks targeted ISIS last year, with the vast majority of his military strikes hitting non-Islamist rebels and civilians.
Assad’s goal, according to Blair, is “to convince the West to accept him as an essential bulwark against the very threat he helped to conjure into being.” But, without Assad targeting Syrian Sunnis, moderates would be able to take up arms against ISIS, so “getting rid of Assad would be the key that unlocks a Sunni army to defeat the terrorists.”
Iran Is More Deeply Tied to ISIS Than You Think
From his humble beginnings as a sniper in Yasser Arafat’s Force 17 to his final days advising Iranian-backed terror groups throughout the Middle East, Mughniyeh represented the bridge between the unsuccessful secular Arab terrorists of the 1960’s and 1970’s and their contemporary Islamist counterparts, as is evident in the rise of Hezbollah and al-Qaeda. Quietly dispelling rumors of a Sunni-Shi’a schism, he was able to establish links between Sunni and Shi’a extremists, providing them with the unifying goal of attacking the West.
Mughniyeh’s unique heritage of Lebanese and Palestinian descent and religious identification as a Shi’a provided him with historical resentment against Israel and a religious affiliation that would merit his participation in a transnational Shi’a power struggle. The family’s origins are in the Galilee Valley of northern Israel, where Mughniyeh’s grandfather was a prominent Shi’a religious leader in the early 20th century. The Mughniyehs, unlike most Palestinians who are Sunni Muslims, were Shi’as, and moved to southern Lebanon in the early 1940’s. The family possessed a very high status in the pantheon of Lebanon’s Shi’a clans because of the clerical leadership of Sheikh Mohammad Jawad Mughniyeh, a cousin of Imad and a prominent Shi’a cleric in Lebanon in the 1960’s and 1970’s.
While Imad Mughniyeh’s birthplace has been often debated by both intelligence agencies and historians alike, what is known is that the family surfaced in southern Beirut’s Ayn al-Dilbah slum in the early 1970’s. The neighborhood, which experienced an inundation of Palestinians after the expulsion of the Palestinian Liberation Organization from Jordan in September 1970, became a major recruiting hub for the PLO’s various armed elements.
U.S. Officials: Russia Responsible for Syrian Airstrike Blamed on U.S. Forces
Syria blamed the U.S.-led coalition for the deaths of three soldiers on Sunday night after warplanes attacked their camp. The Pentagon insists Russian forces, however, not Americans, conducted the airstrike. Russia is a staunch ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
“This hampers efforts to combat terrorism and proves once again that this coalition lacks seriousness and credibility to effectively fight terrorism,” wrote Syrian officials to the UN.
It is the first time Syria has accused the coalition of attacking their forces since the campaign began 14 months ago. Officials said the planes hit the post “with nine rockets late Sunday, killing three soldiers and injuring 13.” The bombs also destroyed military equipment.
“We did not strike any vehicles or personnel targets in this area. We have no indication any Syrian soldiers were even near our strikes,” stated the coalition.
A U.S. official told Fox News, “It is ‘highly likely’ Russia carried out” the attack, but did not provide more details. The Associated Press cited another official who said the Pentagon is “certain” Russia is responsible. From the AP:
Despite Report Showing Illicit Iranian Nuclear Research, U.S. Pushing IAEA to End Inquiry
Despite the recent release of an International Atomic Energy Agency report determining that Iran pursued nuclear weapons technology until 2009, the U.S. is urging the IAEA to close its investigation into the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program and begin implementing the nuclear deal, the Associated Press reported on Monday.
The AP obtained a draft of a confidential resolution backed by the U.S., Russia, China, France, Britain, and Germany, which urges the 35 members of the agency’s board of governors to vote to close Iran’s nuclear file. Even though the IAEA investigation revealed that Iran had lied and maintained a more extensive nuclear weapons program than previously reported, the resolution will call for closing Iran’s nuclear file, ostensibly because “Iran met specific deadlines in cooperating with the IAEA.”
An analysis of the IAEA report in The New York Times last Friday explained that Iran did not even address all of the questions that it was required to during the investigation. The Obama administration’s apparent willingness to allow Iran to avoid coming clean about the extent of its past nuclear research led the Times to ask:
Iran Flouts One Rule. Why Not All?
With the missile test violations under its belt and the U.S. uttering not a word in reply, Tehran is set to begin the period covered by the nuclear deal preparing to push the envelope on all of its restrictions. Their path to a bomb is assured by the fact that the deal expires, but Iran may not be satisfied with waiting for it to expire.
The attention of the public has moved on from the Iran deal as Americans wonder what their irresolute president will do to halt further ISIS depredations after Paris and now, apparently, in San Bernardino. That concern has now been overtaken by the debate over Donald Trump’s idiotic statements about banning Muslims. But looming above all of our worries about ISIS is the menace of a nuclear Iran. Obama may wish to ignore their violations just as he’d rather talk about Islamophobia rather than his refusal to rethink a failed anti-terror strategy that is dependent on the goodwill and cooperation of the terrorist regime in Tehran. But sooner or later, a reckoning will have to be made of the mess that this administration will bequeath to the nation abroad. When it happens, we will look back on this fall and understand that a refusal to enforce the already weak nuclear deal set in motion a series of events that can only end in tragedy.
Mideast Research Institute: Iran May Reject Nuclear Deal After IAEA Report Delivered to UN
The International Atomic Energy Agency report on the possible military dimensions (PMD) of Iran’s nuclear program were not supposed to affect the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, a study published Tuesday by the Middle East Media Research Institute said.
The study, carried out by the director of MEMRI’s Iran media project, Ayelet Savyon, MEMRI President Yigal Carmon and research fellow Uriel Kafash, reviewed the IAEA report released last week and the Iranian political reaction to it.
The analysts concluded that the IAEA report would not become an obstacle to implementing the nuclear deal signed between Iran and world powers even if IAEA Secretary-General Yikiya Amano determined that Iran had in fact been developing nuclear weapons.
“From the outset, it was agreed that all that Iran was obligated to do was to cooperate with the IAEA investigation of its PMD, and nothing more,”
MEMRI: The Prospects For JCPOA Implementation Following The Release Of IAEA Sec-Gen Amano's Report On The PMD Of Iran's Nuclear Program
It was Iran itself that made Amano's PMD report a problematic issue, and, essentially, a condition for its continued implementation of the JCPOA. Iran demanded that the IAEA Board of Governors close its PMD dossier, and, according to some Iranian spokesmen, it should do so in a way that completely exonerates Iran of accusations against it regarding development of a military nuclear program. That is, Iran will not be satisfied with a closure of the dossier that is merely formal if Amano's report does not completely exonerate it.
To this end, in the days leading up to the release of the report, Iran pressured the IAEA and the P5+1, with the aim of ensuring that the report would completely clear Iran of suspicions regarding PMD.
In addition to its direct pressure on Amano, Iran also implemented political pressure on the P5+1, warning that if the dossier remained open, Iran would not implement its obligations under the JCPOA, and that the West had to choose between the PMD, that is, accusing Iran of developing a military nuclear program, and implementing the JCPOA.[3]
Bipartisan Congressional Resolutions Introduced in Support of State-Level Sanctions on Iran
Bipartisan resolutions supporting state-imposed sanctions against Iran in the wake of the nuclear deal have been introduced in both chambers of Congress, The Examiner reported on Monday.
Last week, Sens. Mark Kirk (R – Ill.), Joe Manchin (D – W. Va.), and Marco Rubio (R – Fla.) submitted a resolution “to reaffirm congressional support for continued sanctions by state and local governments in the United States against Iran’s sponsorship of terrorism, human rights violations, and other illicit behavior.”
A concurrent resolution was sponsored by Reps. Peter Roskam (R – Ill.), Brad Sherman (D – Calif.), Mike Pompeo (R – Kan.), Ted Deutch (D – Fla.), Lee Zeldin (R – N.Y.), and Dan Lipinski (D – Ill.).
ISIS Gains a Foothold in Gaza
Hamas pay a price, but as usual, the people of Gaza pay even more. But the threat that ISIS will grow in Gaza is real.
Professor Modallal says that people in the strip are frustrated with their situation—the world’s highest unemployment, with more than 60 percent of youth without work, near-endless bombings, and no hope of escaping the blockaded enclave due to both Israel and Egypt initiating border closures and building separation barriers.
After watching years of Palestinian attempts at the establishment of an independent state founder, says Modallal, they “look to the model of ISIS, who has carved a state out of Iraq and Syria in spite of a global coalition against them, and see it as a way of achieving autonomy and ending the situation they’re in.
“The things ISIS does are against our culture as Palestinians,” Modallal says. “However, frustration can lead people to make a decision too quickly.”
In point of fact, the aforementioned border closure, separation barrier, and Iron Dome missile defense mean that this threat doesn’t have much chance of seriously affecting Israel. The population of Gaza is isolated and under near-total control as far as the Israelis are concerned. The threat of ISIS in the strip is to the Palestinians themselves, who face the prospect of an ever bloodier existence.
Hamas adopts revolving-door policy on IS members in Gaza jails
In a never-ending cycle, Hamas is catching and releasing Islamic State operatives in the Gaza Strip who fire rockets at Israel, Palestinian sources say.
Just two weeks after being let out of prison, some IS terrorists were already back to their old habits, shooting Kassams at Israel’s southern communities. Mahmoud Talb, Muhammad Baras and Ahmad Musallam, all known supporters of the Islamic State and global jihad movement in the Gaza Strip, were among those released by Hamas only to later take part in attacks.
Talb has been arrested by Hamas, the ruling party in the Gaza Strip, more than ten times for his actions, according to Palestinian sources.
This only continues Hamas’s unspoken and contradictory policy towards the Islamic State and the global jihadi movement. On one hand, Hamas must work against these operatives and prevent their actions, while on the other hand, they often work side-by-side and even assist one another.
US gives Hamas fundraising front $100,000
The US Agency for International Development (USAID), a taxpayer-funded aid organization, is giving a $100,000 federal grant to an Islamic charity banned in Israel for giving aid to Hamas and other terrorist organizations.
Grant information on the USAID endowment reveals the massive allotment to Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW) will be given in 2016 for various foreign projects.
IRW was banned in Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in 2014, after investigations revealed it was a fundraising front for Hamas, channeling its donations to funding attacks and paying terrorists.
It also was found to be tied to the Muslim Brotherhood, of which Hamas is a Gazan offshoot, and financial reviews of the group's accounts showed it donated thousands of dollars to a charity founded by a top Al Qaeda terrorist, according to terrorism analyst Samuel Westrop's research on the group that was published by Gatestone Institute in 2013.
Kyle Shideler, director of the Center for Security Policy's Threat Information Office, was quoted by the Washington Free Beacon on Tuesday saying he was shocked the US government would fund a group like IRW.
Saving their sworn enemy: Heartstopping footage shows Israeli commandos rescuing wounded men from Syrian warzone - but WHY are they risking their lives for Islamic militants?
Under cover of darkness, an Israeli armoured car advances down the potholed road that leads to Syria.
As it crests a small hill, the driver picks up the radio handset and tells his commanding officer that the border is in sight.
He kills the engine. Ten heavily-armed commandos jump out and take cover, watching for signs of ambush. Then five of them move up to the 12ft chainlink fence that marks the limit of Israeli-held territory.
On the other side, on the very edge of Syria, lies an unconscious man wrapped like a doll in a blood-drenched duvet. The commandos unlock the fence, open a section of it and drag him onto Israeli soil.
The casualty – who doesn't look older than 20 – is losing blood fast. He has been shot in the intestines and the liver, and has a deep laceration in his left ankle.
After putting him on an emergency drip, the commandos stretcher him back to the armoured car and head back to Israel.
But this wounded man is not an Israeli soldier, or even an Israeli citizen. He is an Islamic militant. And his rescue forms part of an extraordinary humanitarian mission that is fraught with danger and has provoked deep controversy on all sides.
Almost every night, Israeli troops run secret missions to save the lives of Syrian fighters, all of whom are sworn enemies of the Jewish state.

Israel, Al-Qaeda, and The Daily Mail
The Mail then adds:
Many of the casualties rescued by Israel belong to Salafist groups who harbour a deep-seated hatred of the Jewish State. It has also been reported that some may be members of [the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda,] Jabhat al-Nusra … It is unclear how the two enemies arrange the rescue. All that has been disclosed is that word reaches Israeli forces that casualties have been dumped at the border, intelligence establishes that it is not a trap, and the commandos are sent in. … Israel says it either does not gather, or does not disclose, [which faction the fighters she treats are from].
The Mail provides literally no evidence for any of these claims: that “all” Syrians treated by Israel are her “sworn enemies”; that Israel is “support[ing] … Sunni militants” to blunt Iran’s power in Syria; that “many” of the treated casualties “belong to Salafist groups who harbour a deep-seated hatred of the Jewish State”; and especially not for the incendiary accusation that Israel has any relations with Nusra. To the contrary, the actual evidence in The Mail article contradicts many of these wild statements.
For example, The Mail ups the rhetorical ante by saying that “some” of the people Israel treats “openly admit that they intend to kill Israelis.” This could be true, but that is not the evidence presented here. Instead, The Mail finds Syrians in Israeli hospitals who say things like, “Thanks to Israel for letting me in,” and, “The butcher Assad is my enemy. Israel is not my enemy.” One man even testified to changing a negative assessment of the Jewish State because of the treatment offered. The nearest The Mail gets to evidence of any kind for its statement is that while most medical staff are pleased to see this reaction, “Other medical staff … believe that the militants were lying” about being grateful to Israel, and one “Christian Israeli Arab social worker said that many hospital staff resented having to treat them.”

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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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